The local arm of Korean carmaker Hyundai on Tuesday announced modest sales growth for the first quarter of 2014, but expects sales to gain momentum for the remainder of the year on the back of a robust economic climate.
Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI)—the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country—said Hyundai sold 5,951 units in the first three months of the year, up just one percent from the 5,983 vehicles sold in the same period last year.
But Hyundai sales in March jumped 19 percent to 2,030 units from 1,710 units sold in the previous month. However, the March 2014 figure was still lower compared with the 2,327 units rolled out in March last year.
HARI traced the strength of Hyundai’s month-on-month performance to both the passenger car (PC) and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments.
Last month’s sales for the PC segment tallied at 1,393 units while year-to-date sales stood at 4,004 units, translating to growth of 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
HARI said sales of Elantra and Accent vehicles in March helped propel growth in the segment. According to HARI, Elantra experienced 30 percent growth in March with sales of 112 units, while Accent sales jumped 89 percent in March with a sales tally of 600 units.
Still hampered by delays in stock arrivals, the LCV segment racked up total sales of 2,030 units in March, up 19 percent from February’s 1,710 units, but year on year the figure was about 20 percent lower than the 2,547 units sold in the first quarter of last year.
On the other hand, sales of the Grand Starex and Tucson climbed by an impressive 42 percent and 14 percent, respectively, compared to their February sales performance, HARI claimed.
HARI president and chief executive Ma. Fe Agudo welcomed the second quarter of the year with optimism, saying she was confident that the automotive industry would continue to be strong towards the end of the year due to the robust economic climate.
“As the Philippine economy continues to be on an upbeat track, Hyundai welcomes the second quarter with additional strength on the back of the brand’s prowess to deliver modern premium products and drive to customer service excellence,” she said.
Agudo noted that the country’s economy was hailed by French credit company Coface as one of the top emerging economies in the world. She also noted the unanimous growth forecast upgrades from the International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and Standard and Poor’s citing the country’s “strong macro fundamentals and ability to weather external headwinds.”
“By year-end, economic managers forecast 6.5-percent to 7.5-percent growth in the economy, making the Philippines still the best performer in Asia,” she explained.
“As the economy stays on the positive side, prospects for the automotive industry remain bright, thanks to resilient buyer demand, low interest rates, aggressive product launches and solid economic conditions,” Agudo added.