A joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) on Monday showed that industry sales went up by 360.8% to 22,062 units in May from 4,788 in the same month in 2020, indicating an increase by four times from the same month last year after coming off a low base.
Restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic slowed consumer activity, with some dealerships only starting to reopen in mid-May 2020 after lockdown rules were relaxed. This year, May sales jumped by 23.6% from April, when tighter quarantine measures were in place.
“The industry remains optimistic of a nascent recovery but at the same time on guard for any downside risks of the pandemic particularly if lockdowns are reimposed in NCR Plus and in other regions resulting in a tepid consumer confidence,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said.
Sales of all vehicle categories improved in May. Commercial vehicle sales went up by 325.5% to 14,463 units in May compared with 3,399 in the same month a year ago, while also climbing by 17.8% from the April figure.
Passenger car sales surged by 447.1% to 7,599 in May from 1,389 units a year ago, up by 36.43% from the 5,570 sold in April. For the first five months of the year, CAMPI data showed vehicle sales rose by 58.7% to 110,217 units, from 69,463 units in the same period in 2020.
Year to date, commercial vehicle sales increased by 49.6% to 75,193 units, while passenger car sales jumped by 82.4% to 35,024 units.
Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) continued to have the largest market share at 48.86% in May after selling 10,799 units. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. followed with 3,229 units sold at 14.64% market share, while Suzuki Philippines, Inc. sold 1,802 units, with 8.17% market share.
The car industry could recover to pre-pandemic sales as late as 2023, Mr. Gutierrez said earlier this year. The best-case scenario for the industry in 2021, he said, is a 30-35% sales growth, but the provisional safeguard duties on imported cars could lower growth to 20-25% compared with last year’s figure.