Automotive sales fell 39.5 percent in August to 17,906 units from 29,599 units a year ago amid weak consumer confidence, two industry groups said Monday.
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and Truck Manufacturers Association said the August sales were also 12.8 percent lower than 20,542 vehicles in July.
“Spending remains a challenge especially for big-ticket items such as cars. This has resulted in another [month-on-month] auto sales decline of nearly 13 percent,” said CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez.
Data showed sales of passenger cars dropped 11.4 percent to 5,454 units in August from 6,157 units in July 2020, while those of commercial vehicles dipped 13.4 percent to 13,452 from 14,385 units.
Total sales in the first eight months also declined 47.5 percent to 124,489 units from 235,544 units in the same period in 2019.
“Economic recovery can be a gauge of the industry’s future performance, but it also depends on the policy environment. Any restrictive policies such as safeguard duty will only limit the industry’s capability to navigate the current crisis,” Gutierrez said.
He said the Department of Trade and Industry was conducting a safeguard investigation on imported automobiles following a petition filed by the Philippine Metalworkers Association that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic.
CAMPI expressed hope that the case evaluation by DTI would consider the impact of the pandemic on auto industry recovery.
The local automotive industry is turning to aggressive promotions to boost sales and achieve the revised sales forecast of 240,000 units in 2020.
Gutierrez said the objective is to achieve if not outperform the new target or “recovery will be even more difficult.”
Toyota Motors Philippines continued to lead sales in August with market share of 44.92 percent, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 14.54 percent.
Nissan Philippines Inc., Ford Motor Philippines Company Inc. and Isuzu Philippines Corp. rounded up the top five companies, with market shares of 6.80 percent, 5.78 percent and 5.78 percent, respectively.