PH auto sales to slow this year – Metrobank

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The auto industry might grow slower but still in double-digit terms for the rest of the year, according a research by Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank).

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“Growth may be slower but still in double-digit territory given the high base. Campi estimates industry-wide 2016 sales at 350,000 units,” Metrobank noted.

“Expect automotive sales to continue its position as a bright spot in the economy, supported by low inflation and high spending from the election period,” it said.

In the first quarter of the year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. or Campi saw local auto sales increase by 21.6 percent to 76,749 units. March sales went up 16.8 percent to 27,521 units.

The rise in local vehicle sales was due to the “impressive growth due to new models, re-fleeting programs, and rising incomes,” according to Metrobank.

Citing data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Metrobank noted auto loans in 2015 surged by 28.1 percent year-on-year.

Campi President Rommel Gutierrez earlier said auto sales this year will range from 320,000 units to 350,000.

He said the CARS Program or Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program, which seeks to boost vehicle manufacturing in the country, will contribute to future sales prospects.

Market leader Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. is also bullish, saying Philippine vehicle sales this year may reach 370,000 units on the back of strong consumer demand.

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