Suzuki beefs up presence in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY—Suzuki Philippines is beefing up its presence in Mindanao amid a splendid reception to its line of car brands, posting higher sales than traditionally rich-market Luzon.

It opened here its 71st dealership and  plans two more in the provincial capitals of Tagum City in Davao del Norte and Surigao City in Surigao del Norte. It has already established dealerships in the major capitals of Mindanao.

“We feel gratified,” said Shuzo Hoshikura, vice president and general manager of the automobile division of Suzuki Philippines.

He did not give figures yet, but he said Mindanao posted a “surprising” acceptance to the introduction of cars made by Suzuki, traditionally a strong rival to the Japanese-brand motorcycles. He said Filipinos continue to demonstrate their preference to acquire a car, boosted by what he described as a steady strong gross domestic product and high consumer- spending pattern.

Overall, the company’s auto sales have been steadily on the uptick, but pulled down this year by the initial impact of the tax, reform program of the Duterte administration, which imposes hefty tax on nonessential and luxury items.

“Filipinos, who want and who are ready to buy cars, were surprised by this program due to its impact on the prices of cars,” he said. “But they are adjusting. Besides, Filipinos really want to buy cars more than ever.”

He said this year’s drop by 12 percent in auto car sales may be temporary and may pick up to continue the uptrend in the past few years.

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Manuel Cayon has written about Mindanao for several national newspapers for more than two decades, the most part of it on conflict-reporting, and on the political, insurgency and civil rights front. He also scribbles on the religious and human rights issues for the Thailand-based Catholic news agency as well as he strings for several wire agencies. His stint with then TODAY newspaper started his business reporting obtaining in Mindanao, continuing to this day with BusinessMirror. He received citations and awards, including two Biotechnology awards for reporting. He was a fellow of the US International Visitors’ Program Leadership in 2007 on conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution. He attended college at the Mindanao State University and the Ateneo de Davao University

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