February 21, 2019 at 08:10 pm
Othel V. Campos
A group of car importers reported a 25-percent drop in sales in January from a year ago but expects demand to rebound in the coming months.
The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors said members sold 6,493 vehicles in January, down from 8,696 units in the same month last year.
“Avid opened the year with 6,493 units sold. Despite the paltry performance, Avid expects the industry to pick up as it tries to invigorate the market with new and innovative products in the pipeline for 2019,” said Avid president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, who is also the president and chief executive of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.
Avid consists of 17 leading auto companies, representing 26 global brands, including Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet, Suzuki, Chrysler, Dodge, Subaru, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Faw, Lotus, Mini, Volvo, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Foton, Jaguar, Geely, Land Rover and King Long.
Two other industry groups―the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association Inc.―said earlier combined sales of their members dropped 15 percent in January to 26,888 vehicles from 31,645 units delivered in the same month in 2018.
Avid said sales of passenger cars declined 29 percent in the first month of 2019 to 2,254 units. Hyundai accounted for more than half of the total passenger car sales to lead the segment with 1,443 units sold.
Sales of light commercial vehicles fell 23 percent in January to 4,154 units from 5,407 units a year ago. With 1,749 units sold, Ford remained as the market leader in the segment.
Avid said as the economy remained stable, it was expecting a rebound in sales in the succeeding months behind the expected boost in election spending and private consumption.
It said that with the favorable macroeconomic outlook for 2019, it was expecting the industry to rally and achieve modest growth.