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Vehicle Sales Slow Down in March

Although there was a noticeable decline in vehicle sales in March when compared to February, industry experts are nevertheless positive about future development due to customer demand.

A total of 37,474 units were sold last month, according to a report released on Monday by the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi). Comparing this number to the same time last year, when 36,880 units were sold, there was a 1.6% rise. But compared to February’s strong sales of 38,072 units—a 23.2 percent year-over-year increase—it represents a 1.6 percent fall.

In spite of the slowdown in March, sales for the first quarter of this year have increased by 12.7% to 109,606 from 97,284 units sold in the same period last year.

Rommel Gutierrez, president of Campi, expressed optimism about the state of the industry’s performance and credited improved supply chain dynamics and persistent demand for the first quarter’s rise. He pointed out that this trajectory fits their 2024 goals.

Building on the record-breaking 429,807 units sold in the previous year, Campi’s ambitious aim of 468,300 units sold by 2024 is represented by the first quarter figures, which make up almost 23% of that total. Industry participants are confident that these numbers would be surpassed, pointing to impending car introductions, marketing campaigns, and the 9th Philippine International Motor Show as potential drivers of a better showing.

The main cause of the March slowdown was a decline in the market demand for both passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles. Sales of passenger cars increased by a meager 0.7 percent on an annual basis, while sales of commercial vehicles increased by 2.0 percent. In contrast, February’s year-over-year growth rates for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles were noticeably higher at 34.1 percent and 19.9 percent, respectively.

The 5.07 percent increase in passenger car sales was offset by a 3.8 percent fall in commercial vehicle sales from February, according to month-over-month figures.

Notwithstanding these oscillations, the first quarter saw double-digit growth, with sales of 81,395 commercial vehicles and 28,211 passenger automobiles, or rises of 12.1 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively, over the same time in the previous year.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. managed to hold the top spot in the market with 16,597 sales in March. Toyota’s year-to-date sales reached 49,667 units, marking a 9.9 percent gain over the first quarter of 2023 and earning a 45.31 percent market share, albeit representing a 1.8 percent reduction from the previous year and a 2.2 percent dip from February.

With sales of 7,596 units in March, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. came in second position, closely behind, up 6.9 percent year over year and 5.7 percent month over month. Sales in the first quarter came to 20,867 units, up 17.5 percent from the year before and representing 19.04 percent of the market.

With 2,761 sales in March, Nissan Philippines Inc. moved to third place. Although this was a 3.5 percent decrease from the previous year, it was a gain of 2.8 percent from February. Nissan sold 7,909 units in the first quarter of this year, up 23.7 percent from the same period last year and securing a 7.22 percent market share.

The top five were completed by Ford Motor Company. Suzuki Philippines Inc. sold 4,395 units in the first quarter, a slight loss of 1.9 percent, but it still maintained a 4.01 percent market share, compared to 7,531 units sold by Philippines Inc., a 27.8 percent year-over-year growth and 6.87 percent market share.

In February, Ford maintained its third-place rating, and Suzuki’s remained unchanged.

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