The Philippine automotive industry expects sales to reach 400,000 units in 2023, following a 31.3-percent growth to 352,696 in 2022, a top executive said over the weekend.
Honda Cars Philippines Inc. general manager for sales Louie Soriano said the projected growth is a conservative forecast, considering the many factors affecting supply and vehicle production. The expected output is about 13.1 percent higher than 2022 sales.
“There is no definite forecast yet, and the industry is yet to hit pre-pandemic levels. There’s a lot of catching up to do. It will still be difficult to arrive at pre-pandemic sales this 2023,” he said.
Soriano said supply issues continued to hound the industry. Honda is still fulfilling previous commitments, with backlog dates reaching as long as 9 months to 1 year for the HRV model, he said.
He said the supply crunch on automotive chips was giving car manufacturers a hard time dealing with inventory and demand. The scarcity of chips is estimated to continue until 2024 by Honda’s estimates, he said.
Soriano said while Honda Philippines had no specific sales target yet, it was expecting to surpass the 10-percent growth the brand achieved in 2022.
“For Honda, we are pushing for aggressive sales this 2023. We are expecting better sales for our BRV model,” he said.
Among Honda models, the BRV which is produced in Indonesia, is the single unit not affected by the automotive chip issue.
Honda expects sales for the new BRV model to hit 900 to 1,000 units a month. Sales for the old BRV averaged 300 a month.
Honda City remains the brand’s bestselling model, followed by Brio and BRV.
Honda models like the City, Civic, CRV and HRV are facing supply issues. The brand plans to introduce three new models to sustain demand in 2023, according to Soriano.
The brand launched its first offering for 2023—the Civic Type R at Karrera Showroom in Alabang, Muntinlupa City on Jan. 19. The 6th generation Honda Civic Type R is by far the most powerful model in the model’s 30-year history.