Vehicle sales from January to February this year declined by 7.3 percent from the same period in 2020, the joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said on Thursday.
Combined CAMPI and TMA sales for the first two months of the year reached 49,610 units from 53,513 units in the pre-pandemic period.
An increase in passenger car sales was noted this year, growing by 3.8 percent to 15,194 units, compared to January to February 2020 sales of 14,636 units.
On the other hand, the commercial vehicle segment declined by 11.5 percent to 34,416 units in the first two months of 2021 from 38,877 units in the same period last year.
This segment accounted for 72.65 percent of automotive vehicle sales.
For February alone, sales also went down by 12 percent year-on-year from 29,790 units to 26,230 units.
Month-on-month numbers, however, showed an increase of 12.2 percent from 23,380 vehicles sold in January this year.
Passenger car sales slowed down by 2.4 percent to 7,899 units in February 2021 from 8,093 units in February 2020.
Commercial vehicle sales recorded a larger decrement of 15.5 percent selling 18,331 units last month from 21,697 units sold in the same month last year.
EFFECT OF SAFEGUARD DUTY
CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez also said the industry is concerned with the impact of the imposition of safeguard measures on imported vehicles on the industry’s recovery.
“CAMPI expresses concerns on the imposition of safeguard measures. 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,” he said in a statement.
A 200-day safeguard duty was slapped on imported passenger cars and commercial vehicles starting January 20.
The imposed provisional safeguard duties amounted to P70,000 per imported passenger car and P110,000 per light commercial vehicle.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the decision of imposing the provisional safeguard measures on imported vehicles aims to stop further injury to the local automotive industry due to the influx of imported cars in the domestic market.