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Vehicle sales slip in October

AUTOMOTIVE SALES dropped by nearly 10% year on year in October, although the industry remains confident full-year sales will be better than a year ago.

Based on a joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) released on Thursday, carmakers sold 22,581 units in October, down by 9.8% from the 25,023 units sold in the same month last year.

October sales of passenger cars declined by 15.2% year on year, while commercial vehicle sales slipped by 6.7%.

Month on month, vehicle sales rose by 5.1%, as the 15.9% growth in passenger car sales offset flat sales in commercial vehicles. However, the pace of sales growth slowed from the 35.6% month-on-month increase seen in September.

The government placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 4, which was the second highest level under the new alert levels system, until Oct. 15. NCR was downgraded to a more relaxed Alert Level 3 until Oct. 31 as new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continued to decline.

“Based on the October 2021 sales performance, the auto industry remains strong and will certainly surpass last year’s overall performance,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement on Thursday.

“Likewise, we continue to discuss relevant issues with the government aimed at ensuring full recovery of the industry as the country’s economic growth outlook is upgraded,” he added.

The industry is targeting to sell 295,400 units this year, higher by 20.9% compared with the 244,374 units sold in 2020.

For the first 10 months so far, total vehicle sales stood at 214,186 units, 23.8% up from the 173,035 units sold a year ago.

Sales of passenger vehicles increased by 29.3% to 68,608 units as of end-October, while commercial vehicles jumped by 21.3% to 145,578 units.

Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. continued to be the sales leader, accounting for 48.3% or 103,475 units of total vehicle sales. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. ranked second with a 13.8% market share, followed by Ford Motor Co. Phils., Inc. with 7.6%, and Suzuki Phils., Inc. with 7.4%.

Mr. Gutierrez said earlier in the year that the local car industry may see a return to pre-pandemic sales level as late as 2023. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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