By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Motor vehicle sales went up 3,500 percent in May to 4,788 units from only 133 units sold the previous month of April on the easing of community quarantines in the country.
A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) stated the industry has anticipated this increase coming from the lowest sales performance recorded in April and followed by the easing of community quarantine and lockdown restrictions placed over Luzon in May.
Compared to the same month of May 2019, the May 2020 car sales performance was still substantially lower by 84.6 percent from 30,998 units. Year to date, overall sales reached 69,463 units or 51.1 percent lower as against 142,185 units in the same period last year.
“While the May figures are still way below the industry’s monthly average sales performance, we welcome any positive signs of recovery amid the pandemic and this season of new normal where dealerships have resumed operations at a reduced level and stringent safety protocols are being implemented at all times,” said CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez.
Of the total sales in May, there were 3,399 units of commercial vehicles sold and 1,389 units of passenger cars.
Among the categories in the commercial vehicle segment, the biggest increase was posted by the light commercial vehicle or the sports utility vehicle with 2,511 units sold or 4,383 units higher than the 56 units sold in April. The Asian utility vehicle category also contributed 659 units sold followed by 128 of pick-up trucks, 68 buses Category IV and 33 units of Category V buses.
“At this point, the industry anticipates a dampened consumer demand for new cars for the coming months because understandably cars are considered as big-ticket investments. But we hope to see some gradual recovery perhaps by fourth quarter of the year,” said Gutierrez.