Car sales up amid cautious outlook

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    Enhanced program. Some of the processes will be liberalized to entice the production of more vehicle models in the country.
    Enhanced program. Some of the processes will be liberalized to entice the production of more vehicle models in the country.

    Vehicle sales crawled back to recovery in October when it sold 25,023 units, its highest sales in a single month since the pandemic in March and up 2 percent from 24,523 units sold the previous month.

    But October sales were still 27 percent lower than the 34,397 units sold in the same month in 2019.

    Sales for January to October were down 43 percent to 173,035 units from 301,761 units in the same period last year, a joint report if the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association showed.

    Rommel Gutierrez, Campi president, said the group remains on track to achieve its revised sales forecast of 240,000 units – the baseline for the industry’s medium-term recovery plan.

    To hit this level, the industry should register at least 33,483 units per month in the remaining months of 2020.

    “This tepid growth is still positive progress for the industry. CAMPI achieved its highest sales volume since the start of the pandemic. This is despite the overall negative consumer and business confidence outlook for the fourth quarter,” Gutierrez added.

    According to Gutierrez, Campi remains “very cautious about its industry outlook due to the pending safeguard investigation on imported automobiles.”

    The Department of Trade and Industry is set to render its decision on the petition of automotive workers for the imposition of additional duty on imported vehicles.

    “The industry is in a very vulnerable state right now and the imposition of safeguard measure will only limit our ability to navigate the crisis,” said Gutierrez.

    Commercial vehicle sales in the 10-month period were down 43 percent to 119,968 from a year ago and accounting for 70 percent of total sales.

    The rest were accounted for by passenger cars whose sales were down 41 percent to 53,067 units.