Safeguards a drag on auto sales recovery

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    Vehicle sales are estimated to grow 10 percent this year, a slashed forecast from the original 20 percent growth, due to the impact of the additional duties on imports.

    In a press conference, Kia Philippines president Manny Aligada said the forecast of 10 percent growth annually from 2022 to 2025 will stay, ending 2025 with 439,000 units which is about the same level of sales in 2016 or 2017.

    Aligada said the adjusted market forecast for 2021 would be around 273,000 from the original forecast of 301,000 units made prior to the imposition of safeguard duties on some of the bestselling segments, the passenger car at P70,000 per unit and light commercial vehicle, P110,000 per unit.

    “We expected the market to recover, but at a slower pace, compared to the previous years.

    Aligada

    The performance of the market in 2020 was actually off from the 420,000 units initial forecast,” Aligada said.

    The industry ended at about 250,000 units in 2020 despite a slight recovery in December.

    That is about 40 percent declined from 2019 sales.

    “The upside or strong performance towards the latter part of the 2020 has given us confidence that there would be that recovery from the industry and the shift or the segments would actually perform quite well,” Aligada said referring to commercial vehicles which are the preferred models for personal mobility and movement of essential goods.

    Kia itself is bullish this year, setting at least two more model introductions.

    He said the company eyes to grow triple digits and to double its market share to about 2 percent from last year’s 0.9 percent.

    Aligada said Kia this year hopes to go back to 2019 level of about 5,000 units in sales after ending 2020 with just 2,129 units “because of our confidence of the recovery of the economy and of the industry.”