Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the domestic sales of automotive vehicles increased in the first quarter of the year.
A joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed vehicle sales from January to March this year was higher by 8.9 percent compared to January to and March 2020 despite being pre-pandemic months.
Vehicle sales during the three-month period reached 70,312 units from 64,542 units in the same period last year.
Sales of passenger cars grew double-digit by 22.9 percent to 21,855 units in the first three months of the year from 17,786 in the same period in 2020.
Commercial vehicle sales increased by 3.6 percent to 48,457 units in the January to March period this year from 46,756 units sold in the same months last year.
This is also the first time that the industry registered a growth in both year-to-date and year-on-year sales since the onset of the pandemic.
Vehicle sales last month pegged at 20,702 units, a surge of 87.7 percent from 11,029 units in March 2020 when the lockdown was first imposed.
Year-on-year, sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles improved by 111.5 percent and 78.2 percent, respectively.
However, CAMPI and TMA reported a drop in vehicle sales month-on-month.
The 20,702 sales in March this year was 21.1-percent lower than the 26,230 unit sales in February.
“The auto industry felt the slowdown in sales due to the reluctance of buyers with the additional deposit for some imported vehicles because of the provisional safeguard duty. The lockdown also forced dealers to close operations that badly hit the already struggling auto industry,” CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement.
Meanwhile, top car brands in the country in the first quarter of the year were Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford, and Suzuki.