Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country, registered a 1-percent year-on-year increase in automotive sales in the fourth quarter of 2015. HARI’s closing quarter sales tipped at 5,355 units from 5,326 units in the same period last year. Meanwhile, full-year 2015 sales reached 22,058 units, down by 4 percent from the 23,019 units sold at the end of 2014.
The passenger cars (PC) segment finished strong with a 10-percent increase in fourth quarter sales. This, however, was not sufficient to propel full-year sales, which dropped by 4 percent. On the other hand, total fourth quarter sales of light commercial vehicles (LCV) was sluggish, dropping by 23 percent.
“Hyundai prospects for 2016 are bright with the country’s very optimistic economic and industry outlook and the forthcoming benefits of the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement [AKFTA]. And we look to delight our customers even more with our upgraded lineup of portfolio Modern Premium products and services,” noted Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, HARI president and chief executive officer. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The Asean integration, rising employment and increased government spending are among the significant drivers of growth for the Philippine economy. Reports from the World Bank (WB) expect the Philippines to grow by an average of 6 percent this year. This is considered one of the best growth outlooks in the Asean region.
Investors remain optimistic about the Philippine economy. The rise in domestic demand due to generally low inflation rates in 2015 along with the expected boost in election-related spending in the first half of 2016 would be enough to insulate the country from the uncertainties of the global economy.
The local automotive industry will likewise benefit from the overall bullish scenario as auto-buying intentions are expected to be upbeat, given the low inflation, improving employment rates and greater disposable income.