Sales of Philippine car industry dip in May

Companies bear brunt of double disaster in Japan

After enjoying brisk pre- and post-election sales in May 2010, a huge chunk of the Philippine car industry suffered a cumulative drop in sales last month.

With no election money going around plus the impact of the car-parts supply shortage following the double disaster that hit Japan in March, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines (CAMPI) said its members posted total sales of 10,913 units in May, 11.03 percent lower than sales in the same month last year.

This has brought the industry group's total sales from January to May to 59,022 units, just 1.5 percent higher than the sales posted in the first five months of 2010. Around this time last year, CAMPI said the January to May growth stood at 36 percent.

"As expected, we will feel the brunt of the effect of the disaster in the months of May and June," CAMPI president Elizabeth Lee said. "We are hoping to recover starting July onwards."

She added that CAMPI may adjust its forecast for 2011 when sales figures in the first six months of the year are in.

"We are still cautiously optimistic and look forward to recovery of sales in the next half," Lee added. "The demand is there. We just need to catch up with our supply to meet those demand expectations."

Many Japanese carmakers have indeed suffered in the months following the Japan disaster. Local operations of companies like Toyota, Honda and Isuzu were even affected due to the lack of car-parts supply from Japan. Based on CAMPI data, Mitsubishi was the only major Japanese car company that posted growth in May with a 9.1-percent rise in sales.

While some car companies are hurting, others continue to enjoy growth. For instance, The Covenant Car Company, which distributes Chevrolet vehicles in the Philippines, posted a five-month sales growth of 19.18 percent over the same period last year. First-five-month sales of Hyundai Asia Resources, meanwhile, were up 3.1 percent year-on-year.

It may be recalled that Hyundai and Chevrolet were among the companies that left CAMPI in December 2010 so we don't know if the industry group checked their data before adding this in a press statement issued earlier: "One thing is clear--buyers continue to patronize vehicles sold by CAMPI members, with some waiting for their specific choice of vehicles to be filled once supply normalizes."

Industry politics aside, here's the sales record of various car companies in the Philippines from January to May.

YTD ranking Car company January to May 2011 January to May 2010 May 2011 May 2010
1 Toyota Motor Philippines 21,468 21,397 3,028 4,826
2 Mitsubishi Motors Philippines  14,062 12,891 3,117 2,703
3 Hyundai Asia Resources 8,062 7,803 1,643 1,551
4 Honda Cars Philippines 5,938 7,373 1,115 1,483
5 Ford Motor + Mazda 5,306 3,693 1,075 744
6 Isuzu Philippines 3,911 4,096 754 760
7 Universal Motors 2,455 2,690 503 584
8 Columbian Autocar 1,715 2,331 457 452
9 Suzuki Philippines 1,571 1,562 382 296
10 Nissan Motor Philippines 1,318 1,079 272 206
11 The Covenant Car Company 870 730 181 150
12 CATS Motors 407 335 72 82
13 Asian Carmakers 290 224 64 33
14 Pilipinas Hino 246 217 23 49
15 PGA Cars 175 190 29 43
16 Viking Cars 101 121 18 23
17 Dreamco 91 60 14 5
18 Columbian Motors 37 2 5 0
19 MAN Automotive Concessionaires 32 36 3 0
Source: CAMPI, Truck Manufacturers Association, Hyundai Asia Resources, Chevrolet Philippines and Volvo Philippines
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