MANILA, Philippines – The automotive industry breached for the first time the 60,000-unit mark sales in the first quarter of 2015.
A report of the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers of the Philippines Incorporated (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed sales in the first quarter surged 22% to 62,882 units from 51,722 units in the same period in 2014.
March’s sales hit 23,557 units, 23% higher than the 19,216 units sold in March 2014, and 14% up than February’s sales of 20,663 units.
Sales of passenger cars as of the quarter jumped 38% to 25,051 units, from 18,127 units in the same quarter in 2014.
Sales were buoyed by Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, which recorded the highest single-month sales in March to 10,237 units ,thus breaking its October 2014 when it sold 10,163 units.
This pushed Toyota’s first quarter sales to 27,816 units or 44% of total sales.
Passenger cars sales rise
Rommel Gutierrez, president of CAMPI, said the share of passenger cars has increased by an average rate of 38% in the last 3 years. The segment now accounts for almost 40% of the total industry sales compared to only 29% share in 2012.
Gutierrez said that that, as projected during the industry planning session conducted for 2015, demand from the business process outsourcing (BPO) market boosted the sales of the sub-compact segment.
“The industry continues to respond with the right product mix and very attractive financing package to meet this demand,” Gutierrez said.
The commercial vehicles segment, which accounted for 60% of total sales, also added 37,831 units – 13% higher than the first 3 months sale of 33,595 units sold in the same period in 2014.
Within the commercial vehicle category, trucks and buses posted a 69% growth with 706 units sold compared to 2014’s year-to-date sales of 419 units.
This is mainly due to the increasing patronage from the public utility sector complying with the government’s re-fleeting program, Gutierrez added.
Luxury category of both segments tallied year-to-date sales of 510 units. All the 3 brands (BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lexus) registered growth from the same quarter last year, with Lexus posting the highest surge rate of 73%.
“It’s a fantastic time for the automotive industry,“ said Maricar Cristobal Parco, president of Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the exclusive distributor of BMW vehicles in the Philippines.
There are two standout automotive trends driving industry growth: affordable small vehicles and versatile vehicles that can be used for multiple purposes. (READ: Affordable, ‘lifestyle’ cars rev up PH auto industry) – Rappler.com
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