May 15, 2019
AUTOMOBILE sales were flat in April as growth in the commercial vehicle segment was tempered by a double-digit drop in the passenger car segment.
A joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed on Tuesday that the number of cars sold increased by only 0.8 percent to 25,799 in April from 25,583 in the same month last year.
The latest figure was weaker than the 32,713 cars sold in March, a 14-percent surge from 28,216 that month in 2018.
“Sales [in April] remain erratic on a monthly basis, but we expect that [a] positive growth trend on a yearly basis [would] continue to improve in the coming months,” Campi President Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement.
Commercial vehicles sold rose by 15.7 percent to 18,138 last month from 15,673 units a year ago. This growth, however, was slower than March’s 32.8-percent spike in the segment.
The sales plunge in passenger cars continued in April, posting only 7,661 units, a 22.7-percent decrease from 9,919 the previous year.
Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. maintained its leadership in the industry last month with a 44.35-percent market share. The local unit of the Japanese carmaker saw its sales dip by 11.1 percent to 11,443 from 12,867 a year ago.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. came second with a 17.88-percent share. It sold 4,614 units, a 82.7-percent rise from the previous year’s 2,525.
Rounding out the top three was Nissan Philippines Inc., with 8.17-percent market share. Its sales grew by 1.7 percent to 2,109 from the year-earlier 2,073.
Year-to-date, the industry sales dip was trimmed to 0.4 percent from 0.8 percent a month ago, with 111,187 units sold in the first four months, down from the year-earlier 111,620 .
ING Bank senior economist Nicholas Mapa attributed the dip to “buyer’s fatigue and higher borrowing costs.”
“Q1 GDP (first-quarter gross domestic product) numbers reflected the anemic performance of car sales in the first few months of the year,” he said.
Last week, the government announced that the country’s economic growth slowed to 5.6 percent for the first three months of the year, lower than the quarter-earlier 6.3 percent and the year-ago’s 6.5 percent a year ago.
Toyota leads the industry in the first four months with a 40.47-percent market share at 44,997 units sold, followed by Mitsubishi (18.67 percent) with 20,754 units and Nissan (12.01 percent) with 13,348 units.
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