The local auto industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be anything but easy. So far, however, the numbers indicate that this bounce-back year is off to a promising start.
Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) data from February 2021 shows that its member auto brands sold a total of 26,230 units last month. That’s a slight improvement from January’s 23,380 units, and it brings the country’s year-to-date tally to 49,610 units.
Light commercial vehicles continue to account for the majority of 2021 sales, with a total of 13,483 units sold in February. This is followed by passenger cars 7,899 units sold. Other types of commercial vehicles—AUVs, light trucks, and trucks and buses—make up the remainder of the total.
This month’s sales figures represent a 12% dip compared with the same period in 2020, and year-to-date figures are still down by 7.3% versus last year. That said, year-to-date passenger-car sales are up by 3.8% as of February 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.
Not surprisingly, Toyota Motor Philippines remains the country’s top manufacturer in terms of total sales with 13,074 vehicles moved last month. Following a distant second is Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 5,072 units, and Ford Philippines finds itself in third with 1,769. Suzuki Philippines and Nissan Philippines round out the top five.
In a statement, CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez expressed hope that the industry will continue to recover throughout 2021, but shared the organization’s concerns regarding the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) imposition of safeguard measures on car imports.
“CAMPI expresses concerns on the imposition of safeguard measures. While the industry sees early signs of recovery, the provisional import duties, more so if it becomes definitive, will derail any recovery efforts of the automotive industry,” Gutierrez shared.
“Rather than restricting imports, a better incentive scheme must be crafted to attract investments for local production of motor vehicles.”
The local auto industry still has a long way to go. Do you think car brands will be able to sustain their recovery as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic?