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Vehicle sales surpass 2020’s total as of Nov.

Traffic is seen along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Dec. 1. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

CAR AND TRUCK manufacturers reported their sales grew by double digits in November, allowing the industry to exceed last year’s total sales as demand picked up amid the further easing of lockdown restrictions.

In a joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) released on Monday, vehicle sales in November jumped by 14% to 26,456 units, an improvement from 23,162 units reported in the same month last year.

This was also a 17.2% rise from October’s vehicle sales which stood at 22,581.

CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said the 17.2% month-on-month growth in sales is the highest monthly performance so far in 2021.

CAMPI and TMA members have already surpassed last year’s sales total as of November, he added.

In the first 11 months, the industry sold 240,642 units, up by 22.7% from the 196,197 units sold during the same period last year. In 2020, total industry sales plunged by 40% year on year to 223,793 units due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

“Surpassing our last year’s sales performance gives the industry a renewed hope that recovery is underway as restrictions started easing, and economic activities have resumed at improved levels,” Mr. Gutierrez said in a statement.

The government relaxed mobility restrictions as the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases declined. The National Capital Region and most areas in the country were placed under Alert Level 2 starting in November.

“However, the industry remains cautious and on guard at the same time on the uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 mutations, which hopefully will not undermine our recovery,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

In November alone, passenger car sales grew 5.3% year on year to 8,205 units and by 7.59% month on month.

This brought 11-month sales of passenger cars to 76,813 units, up 26% year on year.

The report also showed 18,251 commercial vehicles were sold in November, rising by 18.7% from the 15,372 units sold in the same month a year ago. Asian utility vehicles, light commercial vehicles, trucks, and buses all recorded double-digit sales increases.

Only light truck sales reported a decline. Sales of light trucks contracted by 22.5% year on year to 426 units, which was also 11% lower from October sales.

For the first 11 months of the year, commercial vehicle sales stood at 163,829 units, 21% higher than the same period in 2020.

Year to date, Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) still had the largest market share at 48.27%, after selling 116,165 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s market share stood at 13.91%, with 33,483 units sold.

Ford Motor Company ranked third in terms of market share with 7.5%, after selling 18,154 units.

“The paradigm shift to online sales and marketing methods and activities will definitely continue. This has become a viable strategy for the automotive industry to meet the needs of our stakeholders,” Mr. Gutierrez said. — RMDO

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