The Philippine automotive industry posted a very slight 1.27% growth in October 2020 as it tip-toes its way towards recovery. Last month, 27,158 vehicles were sold, based on the consolidated reports of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID).

“We are on track to achieve our revised sales forecast of 240,000 units - the baseline for our medium-term recovery plan,” said Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI president.

Passenger car (PC) sales totaled 9,932 units, covering 36.86% of the market. Passenger car sales gained slightly by 2.5% compared to 9,690 units in September. Commercial vehicles (CV) continued to take a larger share of the sales at 17,148 units or 63.14% of the market; up 0.53% from 17,058 the previous month.

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) led the CV subsegments, comprising 79.38% of CV sales with 13,434 units sold; slightly lower than last month's 13,596 total. AUV/MPV segment sold 2,764 units, up 3.44% from 2,672. Truck and bus sales were mostly down. Light truck sales jumped 30.17%, selling a total of 591 units compared to the previous month's 454 unit total. Category 4 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus sales slowed down to 294 units (-8.7%) compared to September's 322 units. Category 5 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus slid 22.62% with 65 units sold compared to 84 units the previous month.

As the last quarter sets in, industry players rush to increase sales with exciting promotions and new model releases in a bid to achieve their revised sales target by the end of 2020.

When this pandemic started, we all asked, ‘How long?’ And as the situation developed, we began asking ourselves, ‘What next?’ Which led us to do a strategic overhaul of our respective businesses. I believe the auto industry was quick to adapt to this New Normal. So now you can buy a car online, have it delivered to you without face-to-face contact, and do contactless pickups and drop-offs at service locations for your After Sales needs. The industry has come a long way in such a short time, and this has been a boon to consumers,” AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

While sales remain positive, industry leaders revealed that they are still cautious in their outlook. This is due to a looming levy to be imposed on imported vehicles. A safeguard investigation is currently being done by the Department of Trade and Industry to decide the fate of the industry. According to Atty. Gutierrez, ”The industry is in a very vulnerable state right now, and the imposition of safeguard measure will only limit our ability to navigate the crisis.”

The top five performing manufacturers for October were:

Toyota – 11,666 units (42.96% market share)
Mitsubishi Motors – 3,663 units (13.49% market share)
Nissan – 2,363 (8.7% market share)
Ford – 2,143 (7.89% market share)
Suzuki – 1,830 units (6.74% market share)

After ten months, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation continues its commanding lead in the market. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation follows in second, Nissan Philippines Inc. at a strong third, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. is in fourth, while Suzuki Philippines remains fifth overall.