Sales of imported vehicles decline by 15% in February

vehicles
BW FILE PHOTO

SALES of imported cars in the Philippines declined by 15% in February, as passenger car sales continued to slump since the pre-lockdown period.

In a report released on Monday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) said the industry’s 21 member companies and 26 global brands sold 5,401 vehicles in February compared with 6,342 in the same month last year.

Year-to-date sales dropped by 10% to 10,663 vehicles compared with 11,890 a year earlier.

Month-on-month sales of imported vehicles inched up by 3% to 5,401 vehicles in February.

AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, who also heads Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), said the industry ended 2020 on a “high note.”

AVID sales in 2020 dropped by more than 40% from a year earlier amid the lockdown declared to contain COVID-19. Sales dropped by more than 50% in the first half after dealerships closed during the strictest lockdown level.

But there are signs of recovery, as month-on-month sales in December went up 15%.

“While we acknowledge that recovery will not come quickly, we remain focused on taking ‘baby steps’ at all fronts of our respective businesses and count on government to heed our call for a more comprehensive, long-term approach to reopening the economy by creating more job opportunities, upgrading infrastructure and logistics, and improving the ease and cost of doing business,” Ms. Perez-Agudo said.

Based on limited data, passenger car sales in February slid 23% to 1,518 vehicles, with sales led by Suzuki Philippines, Inc.

Light commercial vehicle sales fell 13% to 3,728 units, led by 1,617 vehicles sold by Ford Group Philippines, Inc.

Commercial vehicle sales from HARI went up 154% to 155 cars.

Some companies, however, combined data for passenger and light commercial vehicle sales, reporting a 16% slump to 5,246 units.

Another car industry group recorded a 12% slump in February compared with the same month last year.

A joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said that the industry sold 26,230 vehicles in February, down 12% from 29,790 units in the same month last year. — Jenina P. Ibanez