‘Ber’ months spark auto industry hopes

With the onset of the “Ber” months during which conspicous consumption usually perks up, auto importers are gearing up for a final quarter rebound in car sales.

Fe Agudo
August came as bearish month with sales sliding by 7% from 5, 100 to 4,753 units, a eversal from two straight months of a strong recovery which saw sales rising by 200% in June versus May and another 40% in July, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors said.

AVID said the slight decrease was a result of the stricter lockdowns from August 4 to 18 in Metro Manila and outlying provinces. The 21-member group representing 26 global brands said despite the minor setback, it expects to sustain its recovery in the “BER” months.

“There are encouraging indicators of a sustained recovery for auto with the gradual reopening of businesses. Still, we remain vigilant since a key aspect of the industry’s revival is the restoration of consumer confidence through strict health and safety guidelines and rapid digital transformation. These ensure the well-being of our stakeholders, continuity of operations, and preservation of livelihood,” AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

Demand for Passenger Cars (PC) continued to recover as customers are looking for affordable and safe means of personal mobility. PC sales increased by 6% to 1,865 sold in August versus July. Hyundai remained a top contributor in this segment followed by Suzuki and Ford.

In the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) segment, AVID recorded a 14% drop in August equivalent to 2,851 units sold compared to the previous month. Ford, Hyundai, and Suzuki were the top three sellers in this segment.

Like PC, another bright spot is Commercial Vehicle (CV) segment where sales grew by 95% month-on-month. CV sales are expected to rebound sooner rather than later with the continuation of the BUILD BUILD BUILD program and Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program. 

For the first eight months of the year, total sales reached 29,360 units or a 48% drop amid the pandemic. 

“AVID is one with the auto industry in calling for government support so we can recover from the impact of this pandemic. We welcome government initiatives that further open opportunities for investment, create jobs for our workers, provide reliable and affordable mobility for Filipinos,” Agudo said.

“However, we are particularly concerned about the proposal to impose ‘safeguard’ taxes on imported vehicles. Prior to the lockdowns, we have conveyed our position that penalizing imports will not trigger investments nor address pressing issues faced by the local manufacturing sector. Rather, it is a disruptive measure which will further inhibit the growth of the automotive industry and reduce our competitiveness in the region,” Agudo stressed.

Topics: Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors , Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo , Commercial Vehicle , Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program
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