Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) on Wednesday announced 9.5-percent year-on-year growth in sales for the first trimester of the year on strong demand for its commercial vehicle (CV) models and heavy duty trucks.
Based on the figures from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), the local arm of the Japanese carmaker sold 4,154 units from January to April 2014, compared with 3,793 units in the corresponding period of 2013.
The sales volume placed the company in fourth place in local automotive industry sales, and third in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment.
Isuzu’s medium-duty Category IV trucks delivered 219 units for the first four months of the year, versus the 197 units sold in the same period in 2013, showing an 11.2 percent increase.
Its light-duty trucks showed a steady rise in sales with the N-series logging a 37.2 percent increase with 668 units delivered. It has been the country’s bestseller in the light-duty truck segment for 15 straight years.
IPC’s CV segment in the first four months totaled 894 units, compared with the 697 units sold a year earlier, indicating a significant 28.3 percent jump.
Providing the big numbers for the CV segment was the Isuzu D-MAX, which sold 1,292 units in the four-month period, versus 723 units a year earlier, showing a 78.7 percent surge.
The huge jump has offset the decline in sales for the Crosswind and Alterra. The Crosswind sold 1,810 units and the Alterra 158 units, or 15.7 percent and 30.4 percent lower, respectively, than last year’s results.
IPC’s Light Commercial Vehicles pushed forward with a 5.3 percent gain.
IPC President Nobuo Izumina expressed confidence in the quality of their vehicles following the strength in their sales volumes.
“The upward trend in the movement of Isuzu’s trucks confirms that entrepreneurs, companies with vehicle fleets and other businesses continuously patronize these models,” he said.
“Clearly, Isuzu trucks’ reputed competence at serving a variety of purposes is recognized and is required by the market. Our efforts to directly reach out to our customers, like during the recent Truck Fest event held in Clark, Pampanga, where many of the guests were company owners, certainly impacted IPC’s growth,” Izumina added.
In April, IPC sold only 1,086 units, a 2.9 percent decline versus sales of 1,119 units in March.
The Isuzu trucks managed to drive the company’s figures in the CV segment as sales improved by 3.3 percent over March, or 250 units in April versus 242 units a month earlier.
An 11.6 percent slowdown in N-Series trucks in April, or 168 units against 190 units in March, was balanced by a 56.9 spike in Isuzu’s medium-duty truck models, which saw 80 units sold in April, versus 51 units in the prior month.
The performance of Isuzu’s Light Commercial Vehicles weakened slightly in April with a 4.7-percent drop. Combined sales of the Crosswind, Alterra and D-MAX for the month, at 836 units, failed to match the 877 units delivered in March.
“Overall, Isuzu Philippines is in a strong position to continue its upward trajectory for the rest of the year. This optimism is based on the Philippine economy’s impressive state at present, something that is recognized by global institutions like Fitch Ratings and, more recently, Standard and Poor’s, which had raised the country’s rating to investment grade. Improved investor confidence will eventually stimulate consumer spending, and retail sales, including those from the automotive sector, are seen rising along with this,” Izumina said.