Vehicle sales in February dropped 12.2 percent from a year ago, but showed signs of recovery from the previous month, two industry groups said Thursday.
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and Truck Manufacturers Association said in a joint report sales were on a rebound coming from a tragic pandemic year of 2020.
Member companies of the two industry groups sold 26,230 vehicles in February, down from 29,790 units delivered in the same month last year.
CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez, however, said the February sales represented a 12-percent improvement from 23,380 units sold in January 2021, driven by positive growths across all categories.
Gutierrez said the Asian utility vehicle category grew by nearly 29.7 percent to 4,045 units from 3,118 units, while the light truck category posted a 23.4-percent growth to 412 units from 333 units in January.
Both categories of heavy-duty trucks and buses also recorded double-digit growth of 19.4 percent and 39.2 percent, respectively, to 289 and 103 units. Overall commercial vehicle sales grew by 14 percent to 18,331 units from 15,085 units on a monthly basis.
Sales of passenger cars also increased by 8.28 percent to 7,899 units from 7,295 units in January 2021, the two industry groups said.
Meanwhile, total vehicle sales in the first two months fell by 7.3 percent to 49,610 units from 53,513 units in the same period last year.
Passenger car sales increased 3.8 percent to 15,194 units from 14,636 units a year ago, while commercial vehicle went down by 11.5 percent to 34,417 units from 38,877 units.
Gutierrez said the automotive industry was worried over the impact of the provisional safeguard duties on imported vehicles on sales in the coming months.
“While the industry sees early signs of recovery, the provisional import duties, more so if it becomes definitive, will derail any recovery efforts of the automotive industry. Rather than restricting imports, a better incentive scheme must be crafted to attract investments for local production of motor vehicles,” he said.