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January vehicle sales climb by 42%

Vehicles are seen in the northbound lane of EDSA in Pasay City, Aug. 14, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

VEHICLE SALES in the Philippines surged by 42% in January, driven by strong demand for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed automotive sales rose to 29,499 units in January from 20,765 units a year earlier. 

Month on month, vehicle sales fell by 21% from 37,259 units in December.

“The double-digit sales growth of 42.1% recorded in January, coming from a year-on-year robust growth performance in 2022 is a good development momentum for the auto industry as we start the year,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement.

In January, commercial vehicle sales climbed by 46.8% to 21,993 from 14,981 a year ago. Those accounted for 74.56% of the industry’s total sales.

Light commercial vehicle sales jumped by 40.9% year on year to 16,757, while Asian utility vehicle (AUV) sales rose by 87.1% to 4,587. Sales of light trucks went up 10.8% to 370.

January passenger car sales jumped by 29.8% to 7,506 from 5,784 a year earlier.

Among car manufacturers, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. posted the highest sales in January at 13,428 units. These accounted for 45.52% of the industry’s total sales.

Other leading car manufacturers for January were Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with a 17.05% market share or 5,030 units sold; Ford Motor Co. Phils. Inc. with 7.14% or 2,107 units sold; Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 6.37% or 1,878 units sold; and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. with 5.56% or 1,639 units sold.

After the strong January sales, Mr. Gutierrez said the industry is bullish that demand would continue to rise.

“The auto industry is optimistic of its continued expansion from the demand-side standpoint driven by the growing domestic consumer market,” he said. On the other hand, the supply-side challenges are also an important factor that the industry is mindful of as this may hamper the industry growth.”

CAMPI has yet to give its sales target for 2023.

In 2022, CAMPI and TMA members sold 352,596 units, up by 31.3% year on year, and exceeding the group’s sales target of 336,000.

“The auto sales sustaining growth or exceeding last year’s record is not always clear-cut as our overall economic health and activity depend on various economic key indicators,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

The government expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow to 6-7% this year, from 7.6% a year earlier. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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