BMW targets 15% sales growth in PH this year

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ASIAN Carmakers Corp. (ACC), importer of premium BMW cars in the Philippines, is targeting 15-percent sales growth this year following a robust performance in 2015, driven by strong demand for BMWs thanks to Manila’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

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Maricar Cristobal-Parco, ACC president, told reporters on Thursday night that ACC’s sales hit the 1,000 mark last year, up 38 percent from 2014 and also faster than the 25-percent growth in the luxury vehicle segment.

The group corners 38 percent of the luxury vehicle market in the country.

“The Philippines has the fastest growth in the region—a minimum of 6 percent growth. Filipino motorists are also improving quality of living and taste,” Parco said, citing that the premium vehicle market has shown consistent growth even in times of economic slowdown due to steady demand.

Parco said their sales growth last year was the highest recorded in five to six years after incurring declines before that. She said it was only in 2013 that the group recovered from slow sales.

She said a major contributor to sales performance last year was the supply of APEC-accredited shuttles, which totaled 300 units or 30 percent of actual sales.

According to Parco, the units made for the APEC meetings had special features and were all sold out even before the actual meetings commenced, adding that the group supplied 10 to 20 new 5 Series units every APEC meeting.

Without the APEC factor, Parco said the group is “cautiously optimistic” this year, targeting at least 15 percent growth in sales.

She said new launches will “support growth this year” with the all-new X1 lined up in April, and the strong sales of its X Series and 3 Series.

The ACC president is confident that growth in the luxury vehicle segment will be also higher this year than the whole auto industry, expecting the luxury segment to improve by 35 percent this year.

Also on Thursday, ACC launched the all-new BMW 7 Series in the Philippines, a compact luxury model priced at P8.5 million up to P12.5 million. The luxury unit already debuted in most Asean countries—Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The all-new 7 Series features all-new functions such as Gesture Control, Laserlight, Touch Command, and the Rear Seat Executive Lounge.

“In 2016, the BMW brand will celebrate its centennial anniversary worldwide, and we would like to mark the milestone in the Philippines through the innovative product launches and participation in significant events that will set the tone in the next hundred years,” Parco said.

“We are confident that with an unparalleled vehicle portfolio complemented by the unique experience we bring our distinguished clientele and the bullish outlook for the Philippine economy, we will be able to further our growth in the country,” she added.

The Alvarez family-owned ACC has been importing BMW luxury vehicles to the Philippines from Germany and the US since 1993.

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