• Vehicle importers report 16% hike in May sales

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    Local vehicle importers on Monday reported a double-digit spike on sales for the month of May.

    In a statement, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) said that they registered a 16-percent increase in sales to 2,615 units in May, versus the 2,255 units sold in the same month last year.

    Overall sales for the passenger car segment dropped by 7 percent—1,378 units sold last month compared to the 1,476 units of the same period last year. Meanwhile, sales of light commercial vehicles (LCV) went up by 59 percent to 1,237 units from only 779 units sold in May last year.

    On a year-to-date basis, AVID sales showed slight growth with 12,898 units sold for the first five months of 2013, versus 12,888 units in 2012.

    The group expects higher sales in June, borne by historical sales data, widely available credit at very competitive rates and heightened promotional activities of member-brands.

    For her part, AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo expressed firm belief that the strong automotive sales will be felt throughout the year, given that the current economic situation would not change for the worse.

    “Current economic indicators signal a solid degree of optimism for the auto industry for the rest of the year. Benefiting from this current growth momentum, AVID commits to stay ahead in bringing world-class design, cutting-edge technology and premium service to the Filipino consumers,” she explained.

    Agudo also said that industry outlook for the rest of 2013 remains optimistic, given the positive string of macroeconomic developments.

    “The Philippines became the fastest-growing economy in Asia during the first quarter of the year, beating other Asian region tigers, with a 7.8-percent GDP [gross domestic product]growth. The country has been recently upgraded to investment grade by Fitch and Standard and Poor’s, two major credit rating agencies. OFW [overseas Filipino worker]remittances continue to grow while inflation remains at a low of 2.6 percent in May,” she noted.

    Lower Hyundai sales
    However, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, reported a slight decline on their May sales compared to the same month last year.

    Based on its report, HARI suffered a 2-percent decline, selling only 1,708 for last month, as compared to 1,737 units sold in May last year. On the sales breakdown, passenger cars hampered the overall sales for the local arm of the Korean carmaker, with units sold suffering a 5-percent decline in May from the prior year.

    Despite the Elantra suffering on the supply setbacks being experienced worldwide, the Accent increased its year-on-year volume by 14.9 percent.

    Hyundai’s commercial vehicles (CV) also fared well, posting a 5.3-percent growth for May compared with the same month last year.

    While the Elantra and Sonata passenger cars experienced significant declines, bright spots remained for most in the Hyundai stable. For example, on the commercial vehicle front, sales of the all-new Santa Fe mid-size sports utility vehicle climbed a staggering 2,920 percent, while the H100 utility workhorse posted a 21-percent increase, both in May.

    Agudo, who heads HARI, remains optimistic despite the current sales trend for Hyundai vehicles.

    “Against the supply setbacks owing to the deliberate global strategy on quality over quantity, Hyundai in the Philippines remains strongly committed to providing our very best in delighting Filipinos through our modern premium products and services,” she added.

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