The auto industry started the the year with a flat growth (-0.2%) where January 09 sales volume compared to the same period in 2008 were about the same. 8,791 vehicles were sold in the first month. This shows continued consumer confidence in the market though buyers are more stringent in their purchases taking into consideration fuel efficiency, purchase price, value for money as top purchase criteria.

First month performance is still relatively better compared to other markets where Jan 09 sales tumbled -37% year on year in the US as China, for the first time in history, now takes the lead overtaking what used to be the largest car market in the world. Compared to Dec sales which is seasonally the highest sales month of the year, January sales are lower as expected (-11%). Stronger sales of passenger cars were seen. First month sales of PCs were up 14. 2% compared to the same month last year selling 3,384 units. Commercial vehicles (CVs) however, continue to dominate total sales with 5,407 total units sold for the first month of the year or about 62% total market share.

" Sales are expected to be sustained in the coming months although an increase in prices may be seen should the Yen continue to remain strong against the greenback. Thankfully, inflation rates are much lower compared to previous months and the financing environment remains stable allowing consumers to take out loans to finance their needs. " says CAMPI President Elizabeth Lee.

PC sales increased by 14.2% for the month of January compared to the same period last year (January 2008). Growth of the PC is seen to continue in the coming months. The new models introduced are seeing more positive results translated to sales in the first month of the year. Compared to last month's sales, December 08 vs January 2009, a 9.4% growth was registered due to introduction of new models this year and the timely delivery of stocks.

CVs continue to dominate the market with a 62% market share although CV sales decreased by 7.5% compared to January 2008. CV sales are expected to pick up in the coming months as fleet sales are realized, stocks normalize. Demand for dual purpose vehicles such as Vans, pick ups will continue. Sales of AUVs will stabilize as well. With January seasonaly a lower sales month, it is expected that sales of CV will continue to be popular.

MTD January AUV posted a decrease of 36.6% mainly caused by sluggish
sales due to seasonality.YTD sales decreased by 24.8% compared to the
same period last year due to low stocks and price increase.

Sales in the LCV segment, comprised of the popular pickups, vans, compact & full-size SUVs, showed an overall growth of 3.1% compared to the same period last year (January 2008) sustained by the sales of new models and the inherent advantage of dual purpose utility these type of vehicles serve. Sales compared to December sales were expected to be lower due to seasonality. Sales are expected to pick up in the coming months.

Light Trucks sales increased by 27.4% compared to the same period last year (January 2009). For this month, this segment decreased by 0.8% compared to December 2008 due to sluggish fleet requirements.

Cat IV & V sales for January decreased by 38.9% compared to the month of December 2008 due to the completion of fleet account deliveries during the holidays.

Compared to the same period last year (January 2008), sales increased by 1.5%.