Jul 222013

MANILA, Philippines – Sales of vehicle importers declined slightly in the first semester from a year ago due to the weaker performance of passenger cars (PC).

Data released yesterday by the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) showed that the group’s total sales reached 15,345 units in the January to June period, down three percent from the 15,800 units in the same period last year.

This, as PC sales fell 18 percent to 7,821 units as of end-June from 9,530 units in the comparable period in the previous year.

Despite the lower PC sales, the AVID’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales meanwhile rose 20 percent to 7,524 units in the first-half from 6,270 units a year ago.

The strong LCV sales performance was driven by Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc.’s Subaru and The Covenant Car Company, Inc.’s Chevrolet brands which had compelling new offerings in the compact and mid-size sports utility vehicle categories.

The LCV segment’s positive first half performance, AVID said, provided a strong cushion in tempering a supply-stricken PC category where primary movers Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) and Chevrolet both experienced significant losses due to supply-dictated performance as well as strong external competition.

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For the month of June alone, AVID’s sales decreased 16 percent to 2,447 units from last year’s 2,912 units.

The group’s PC sales declined 19 percent to 1,240 units from last year’s 1,526 units.

Its LCV sales for the month of June reached 1,207 units, 13 percent lower than the 1,386 units a year ago.

Even as sales for the first six months of the year were down, AVID is of the view the sales performance could improve in the coming months.

“With upbeat local business and consumer sentiments projected to counterweigh global and regional setbacks, we at AVID remain wholly optimistic of the prospective growth of the local automotive industry for the remainder of 2013,” AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

Earlier this month, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the PhilippinesInc. (CAMPI) reported that its combined sales with the Truck Manufacturers Association, Inc. reached 87,226 units in the January to June period, up 20 percent compared to the 72,871 units last year.

Given the first semester result, the CAMPI said it is confident that total vehicle sales in the country could reach and even breach the initial 200,000 sales volume target for the entire year.

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