For the third straight year, the Philippine automotive industry continues to break first quarter record with sales reaching 62,882 units, breaching for the first time the 60,000 unit mark. These record sales represent a 22 percent increase over the 2014 first quarter record of 51,722 units. Based on the report of the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association, last month’s sale of 23,557 unitscontributed to the strong quarter performance of the industry. This volume is 14 percent higher than last February’s sales of 20,663 units and 23 percent over the 19,216 units sold in March last year.
Passenger car year-to-date sales contributed 25,051 units, representing a38 percent increase over last year’s first quarter sales of 18,127 units. The share of the PC segment has increased also by an average rate of 38 percent in the last three years and now accounts for almost 40 percent of the total industry sales compared to just 29 percent share in 2012. Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI President, explains, “As projected during the industry planning session conducted for 2015, demand from the BPO market has boosted the sale of the sub-compact segment. Industry continues to respond with the right product mix and very attractive financing package to meet this demand.”
The commercial vehicles segment, which accounted for 60 percent of total sales, meanwhile added 37,831 units. This is 13 percent higher than the first three months sale of 33,595 units sold in the same period last year. Within the commercial vehicle category, trucks and buses posted a 69 percent growth with 706 units sold compared to last year’s year-to-date sales of 419 units. According to Atty. Gutierrez, this is mainly due to the increasing patronage from the public utility sector complying with the government’s re-fleeting program.
Luxury category of both segments tallied year-to-date sales of 510 units. All the 3 brands (BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lexus) registered impressive growth from the same quarter last year, with Lexus posting the highest growth rate of 73%.
With this performance, the industry is confident that it will reach its 310,000 sales volume target for the entire year as sales is expected to peak up in the coming months. Leading the performers for the first quarter of 2015 is Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation with 44.2 percent market share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 18.8 percent. Ford Group Philippines is at third with 8.4 percent share, while Isuzu Philippines Corporation is at fourth with 7.9 percent. Rounding up the fifth spot is Honda Cars Philippines with 6.3 percent.