January vehicle sales down by only 1.4% year-on-year

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The local automotive industry showed signs of improvement in January this year after posting its first single-digit decline in volume of sales in 10 months.

A joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) on Thursday showed that their combined vehicles sales for January 2021 reached 23,380 units.

Volume of sold vehicles last month, however, was 1.4-percent lower than the 23,723 units sold in January 2020.

Since the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, CAMPI and TMA reported double- to triple-digit decreases in sales volume.

The steepest decline was in April 2020, when both combined CAMPI and TMA sales plunged by 358 percent from 29,066 units sold in April 2019 to only 133 units sold last year.

On the other hand, sales of passenger cars registered a double-digit growth when it kicked off the year, with sales growing by 11.5 percent to 7,295 units last month from 6,543 units in January 2020.

Sales of commercial vehicles still posted a negative growth of 6.4 percent, from 17,180 units in 2020 to 16,085 units this year.

In terms of sub-segments, Asian utility vehicle sales rose by 25.8 percent to 3,118 units in January 2021 from 2,479 units in the same month last year.

Light commercial vehicle sales remained down at 11.9 percent, with sales of 12,318 units last month from 13,988 sales in January 2020.

Light commercial vehicles include sports utility vehicles and pick ups. 

In truck segments, light trucks’ sales dropped by 8.8 percent to 333 units; trucks and buses category four increased by 3.9 percent to 242 units, while category five declined by 35.7 percent to 74 units.

“The pandemic still poses a challenge to the automotive industry. We are also monitoring how the market will react with the imposition of the provisional safeguard duties starting February, which could potentially impact on the prices of imported motor vehicles,” CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said.

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