Philippine new vehicle sales stall in April after March surge

MANILA, NNA – The year-on-year rise in new vehicle sales in the Philippines slowed to a near standstill in April after surging a month earlier, hit by sluggish passenger car sales, but the auto industry expects a pickup in the second half of the year.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines and the Truck Manufacturers Association (CAMPI-TMA) released their latest monthly sales data Tuesday.

Key points:

-- New vehicle sales edged up 0.8 percent from a year earlier to 25,799 units in April, for the third straight month of y/y gains, but a sharp deceleration from the 14 percent increase in March. In the first four months of the year, sales dipped 0.4 percent to 111,187 units.

-- Sales of passenger cars plunged 22.7 percent to 7,661 units for the second straight y/y drop, while commercial vehicle sales increased 15.7 percent to 18,138, the second y/y rise in a row.

-- Japanese automakers continued to dominate the market. Toyota had a 44.4 percent share, despite a 11.1 percent drop in its sales to 11,443 units.

-- Mitsubishi Motors, which had the second largest market share at 17.9 percent, posted an 82.7 percent increase in sales to 4,614 units. Nissan came in third with an 8.2 percent share and a 1.7 percent rise to 2,109 units. Ford saw a 14.1 percent increase in sales to 2,094 units.

Takeaway:

-- New vehicle sales saw the biggest drop in seven years in 2018 due to a spike in inflation and the government’s excise taxes on fuel and automobile. Sales have been slow to recover this year.

-- “Sales last month remained erratic on a monthly basis, but we expect that positive growth trend on a yearly basis will continue to improve in the coming months,” CAMPI-TMA said in a statement.

-- Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. President Satoru Suzuki told NNA that April sales were depressed because dealerships were closed during Easter which fell in the month this year, but there were signs of recovery. He said he expected new vehicle sales to pick up in the second half, helping annual sales to rise slightly from 2018.

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