Motor vehicle sales contracted in the first two months of the year, data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed.
In a statement, the two industry groups said local sales slowed to 17,818 units, or 2.5% lower than the 18,282 sold in the same two-month period last year.
February sales of 9,027, however, picked up 2.7% from the previous month’s 8,791.
Despite the decline in year-on-year sales, “local auto players are hopeful that the increase in local February [monthly] sales is a positive sign indicative of a growth trend for 2009,” Elisabeth Lee, Campi president, said.
Lee said the February rise was “remarkable when compared to how other major markets are performing, led by the largest auto market, the US, where auto sales plunged another 41% in February alone.”
“We continue to bank on sustained [overseas Filipino worker] remittances, the entrepreneurial trend, and the stable financing market to help boost sales,” she said.
Sales of commercial vehicles (CV), comprising 63.3% of the domestic market, led the contraction, dipping 7.6% year-on-year to11,272 units for the first two months of this year, compared with 12,196 in the same period last year.
Month-on-month, sales however rose 8.5-% to 5,865 units from January’s 5,407.
Passenger car sales bucked the trend, rising 7.6% to 6,546 units in the first two months, from 6,086 in the same period in 2008. Month-on-month sales however contracted 6.6% to 3,162 units in February from 3,384 the month before.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corp sold the most number of vehicles so far this year, with 6,260 units sold for a market share of 35.1% for the first two months, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., which sold 2,989 units for a 16.8-% market share. Honda Cars Philippines Inc. sold 2,967 units for a 16.7-% share of the domestic market.