For the month of May, the auto industry's overall sales were tallied 10,913 units, a decline of 7.6% versus the previous month of April (11,816). The expected decline in the monthly sales was previously shared with the media as it reflects the lack of supply caused by the March 11 earthquake and subsequent disasters that hit Japan. Despite the downturn due to lack of vehicle supply, year-to-date auto sales still managed a slight 1.5% growth so far with 59,022 vehicles sold nationwide.
"As expected, we will feel the brunt of the effect of the disaster in the months of May and June. We are hoping to recover starting July onwards, " says Ms. Elizabeth H. Lee, CAMPI President. " We plan to adjust our forecast accordingly after we see the result of the first full six months of sales. We are still cautiously optimistic and look forward to recovery of sales in the next half," she adds.
The disaster was unfortunate as a rise in auto demand was clearly expected even as the industry came off of an unusually high sales result in 2010, a result that was helped by the elections. " The demand is there. We just need to catch up with our supply to meet those demand expectations."
Overall passenger car sales year to date still reflected a growth of 2.1%, selling a total of 19,568 units thus far. Commercial vehicles grew by 1.1% year to date selling 39,454 units for the first 5 months. AUVs reflected a decline of 2.2% selling 14,048 units with LCVs still showing a net positive growth of 2% year to date, selling 24,242 units nationwide.
"We continue to be cautiously optimistic. We hope to make up for the unserved demand in the next half of the year as the situation improves," says Ms. Lee. "We are likewise thankful for our customers' support and understanding of the situation."