Imported car sales slide in July

IMPORTED car sales slipped by 5% in July, as the lockdown restrictions continued to dampen consumer confidence amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

In a report released on Friday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) said vehicle sales of its 21 members stood at 4,862 units in July. This was 5% lower than the 5,101 units sold in the same month last year, and also 2% lower than the 4,961 units sold in June.  

Despite the contraction in July, the industry association reported a 43% increase in sales in the first seven months of the year, which it says “reflects the industry’s overall improvement amidst the pandemic.” 

Total sales reached 35,092 units compared to 24,610 units sold during the same period in 2020, as sales of light commercial vehicles (LCV) improved. 

“LCV sales surged by 52% in the first seven months of 2021 from 16,561 units in the first seven month of 2020 to 25,127 units sold in the same period this year,” AVID said. 

Ford Group Philippines, Inc. registered the most LCV sales with 10,343 units, followed by Suzuki Philippines, Inc. with 7,076 units, and Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) with 3,177 units. HARI is the local distributor of Hyundai vehicles.  

The commercial vehicles segment registered a record 448% growth in the first seven months of the year, mostly due to sales of Hyundai trucks and buses. 

“(Hyundai) is a huge contributor to nationwide efforts at modernizing public utility vehicles. The Korean brand now totals YTD sales of 852 units, which is a significant improvement from the 156 units sold in the same period a year ago,” AVID said.  

Passenger car sales, on the other hand, went up 15% to 9,110 units in the January to July period. 

However, July sales of passenger cars fell 27% year-on-year to 1,293. This was also 5% lower than June’s 1,358.  

AVID president President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said that the local automotive industry has gradually adapted to “new normal” operations. 

“These lessons fuel our passion for developing new and innovative ways to addressing the needs of the market. And AVID is determined to pave the way towards recovery,” she said in a statement. 

AVID’s 21 members distribute 26 global auto brands in the Philippines. — AYY  

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