HYUNDAI Asia Resources Inc. (Hari) is bullish about the outlook for vehicle sales next year amid increased supply and lower tariffs under the Asean-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA) agreement.
At the launch of Hyundai’s all-new 2016 Elantra, Hari president and chief executive officer Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said, “We have resolved already the issues of supply shortage and we’re ready to roll out across all models. Expect that you’re gonna have a great 2016.”
“In 2015, we had just about 1 percent growth, just flat growth. 2014, 2015 was just flat growth,” she told reporters.
But for next year, Perez-Agudo said Hari is expecting double-digit growth.
“It will be 10 to 99 [percent growth]because of the Elantra, because we’ve solved already the supply shortage issue, and because of AKFTA, because of the Euro 4 so our products will be more competitive .We’ll have better quality, I would say with better technology, and the models have been revamped already, so definitely 2016 will give us more chances of really improving our ranking,” she added.
The AKFTA is expected to boost trade and multiply exchanges in goods, services and investments by significantly cutting tariff barriers between the member countries of Asean and Korea.
In the automotive industry in particular, by 2016 the tariff will be cut to 5 percent from 20 percent, she said.
“There will be value-added enhancements that we included in all our vehicles because we were able to take advantage of the savings that we’ve generated from this AFKTA. And this will be announced by January,” she said.
“There has been already a realignment of pricing during the last three months. We have been quietly adjusting the prices so that buyers as early as October, November, and December wouldn’t feel like they were short changed,” she added.
According to her, there has been a reduction of anywhere from P20,000 to P80,000 per vehicle, depending on the model because the AKFTA applies to “anything that comes from Korea .”
Hari is looking at rolling out 30,000 units next year. “We ended up with about 22,000 this year,” she said.
Perez-Agudo, who is also president of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid), said that Avid sales were up more than 50 percent this year largely due to Ford’s strong sales.
“Maybe the real test is next year, unless another big member would come in. But you will be able to really measure it starting 2016. I think overall, the industry is expected to grow by 22 percent next year. But for Avid, we’re looking at about 35 percent. This year we grew by more than 50 percent. Next year, I would say we’ll average at 30 percent,” she said.