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May 12, 2021

Auto Sales Continue To Contract In April 2021 As Ford, Suzuki Overtake Nissan in Sales

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., or CAMPI reports that new vehicle sales of its members slumped once more in April, dropping 13.8 percent for a total of 17,843 units.

CAMPI says the passenger car (PC) segment moved 5,570 units, while Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) sold 12,273 units. Both numbers are down from March—26 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.

April also marks the second consecutive month of contraction for the Philippine market. Last March, the industry dropped 21.1 percent despite having more selling days compared to February.

CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez attributes the decline down to the re-imposition of the most stringent community quarantine—Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus bubble which ran from March 29 to April 11 as well as the continued effect of the DTI safeguard tariff.

Moreover, despite the move to the less stringent MECQ from April 11, LTO remained closed meaning dealerships located in the NCR Plus bubble couldn’t process vehicle registrations. Despite repeated pleas from CAMPI, LTO offices only re-opened last May 3 in the NCR Plus.

Gutierrez also said that banks continue to tighten consumer lending, especially for big ticket items such as automobiles. However, his statement runs counter to what the country’s biggest lender, BPI said. Previously, BPI says consumer lending is now back up to 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Despite two consecutive months of weak performance though, CAMPI reports that the Philippine auto industry remained in the right direction for the first four months of the year, selling 88,155 units or 36.6 percent higher than the same period in 2020.

It must be remembered that in April 2020, the auto industry suffered its sharpest decline, selling just 26 passenger cars and 107 light commercial vehicles.

Toyota remained the number one carmaker in the country, cornering a 47.35 percent market share, followed by Mitsubishi with 15.84 percent. Ford is in third with 7.44 percent, Suzuki in fourth with 7.25 percent, and Nissan at fifth with 7.06 percent.

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