Car sales off to record start

MANILA, Philippines –  The local automotive industry rolled off to a record start in 2017 as sales accelerated a little by over a quarter in January, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association reported yesterday.

Automotive sales from CAMPI and TMA member firms registered a 27.8 percent increase last month to 30,425 units from 23,808 units in the same month in 2016.

CAMPI said the output is the highest January sales ever recorded by the group.

 “Although we expected lower sales due to seasonality, reaching 30,000-unit level in January is a good start for the auto industry.  We welcome appropriate measures that will not hamper the growth of the auto industry as it continues to positively contribute to the economy.” CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said.

Sales from the passenger car segment rose 27.2 percent to 10,984 units last month from 8,632 units in January 2016.

The commercial vehicle segment, meanwhile, sold a total 19,441 units, a 28.1 percent year-on-year jump.

Within the commercial vehicle segment, light commercial vehicles fueled January’s higher volume with 12,340 units sold.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. maintained its dominant position in the market with a 47.8 percent share, followed by Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. with 16.24 percent.

Toyota was able to sell 14,542 units last month – a 55.7 percent improvement from the same month last year – while Mitsubishi’s sales reached 4,942 units.

Ford Motor Philippines Inc. finished at third with an 8.28 percent market share, followed by Honda Cars Philippines Inc. and Nissan Philippines Inc. with 7.18 percent and 5.45 percent, respectively.

Automotive players are currently jittery with the government’s planned hike in excise taxes for automobiles. They said the higher excise tax would result in significant increase in vehicle prices, which, in turn, would dampen car sales.

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