VEHICLE sales in February increased by 17% to 24,304 units from the earlier month, although a year-on-year comparison showed a decline of 7.3%, latest industry data show.
In their joint report on Thursday, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) recorded nearly all vehicle categories showing a year-on-year sales decrease, with the exception of light commercial vehicles, which posted an 11.1% increase to 14,974 units. Commercial vehicles posted a 0.3% uptick to 18,390 units sold.
Month on month, sales growth was strong for most vehicle types. Six of the seven categories showed double-digit growth, with trucks and buses (category 4) registering the biggest increase of 31.3% to 285 units. Commercial vehicles, which had the biggest number of units sold, closed the month with sales of 18,390, up 22.8%.
CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said sales in February “have regained a double-digit growth amid the improved consumer confidence as the country has shifted to ‘low-risk’ for COVID-19 (coronavirus dissease 2019) classification, according to the government report — a welcome development for the industry.”
“The industry is anticipating to see a continued recovery this month as the economy further reopens, downgrading to the least restrictive Alert Level 1 in major areas including the National Capital Region starting this month,” he said, referring to the most lenient mobility classification that was set on March 1.
In February, commercial vehicles led in market share with 75.67% of total sales; followed by light commercial vehicles with 14,974 units sold or a 61.61% share; and passenger cars with 5,914 or a 24.33% share.
Meanwhile, Asian utility vehicles recorded sales of 2,660 units or 14.46% of the total; light trucks with 391 or a 2.13% share; and category 4 and category 5 trucks and busses with 285 units or a 1.55% share and 80 units or a 0.44% share, respectively.
On a cumulative basis, sales for the first two months of the year reached 45,069 units, down by 9.2% from 49,610 in the same period last year.
Asian utility vehicles recorded the biggest sales decline at 28.6% to 5,112 units. Only light commercial vehicles posted growth at 4.1% to 26,867 units.
Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. maintained its sales lead, accounting for 50.37% or 12,243 units sold in February. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. tailed with a 14.42% market share, followed by Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 7.23%, and Suzuki Phils., Inc. with 6.03%.
The industry targets to sell 336,000 units by the end of the year, 17% higher than the sales volume in 2021.
“As the economy reopens, the safety and health of the public is paramount to prevent another wave of virus infections and cause disruption anew to the recovery of the industry,” Mr. Gutierrez said. — Marielle C. Lucenio