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Vehicle sales jump ahead of tax hike

A month before new excise car taxes are slapped, car and truck manufacturers reported reaching one of their highest growth in sales this year.

According to joint data from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), sales of member companies reached 40,799 units in November, a 23.8%-increase from the same month a year ago.

This marked the third highest year-on-year increase reported by the two auto groups, following the 27.8% and 32.9% year-on-year growth sales in January and March, respectively.

A total of 380,179 units were sold from January to November this year, growing 16.8% from the same 11 months in 2016. The car industry, including the sales of a group of car importers, expects to sell 450,000 units at the end of the year.

The latest growth figures came prior to the final version of the new car excise tax that is expected to be implemented starting January next year.

Ending months of speculation about which version would hold water, the two chambers of Congress finally decided to hike the excise tax on all price brackets.

Before Congress approved the final version of tax proposal, previous versions both in the House of Representatives and the Senate wanted all price brackets to see an increase in their excise tax rates —a development which led some car officials to expect lower sales starting next year. It remains to be seen how the new rates would affect growth prospects, especially since the tax rates were increased.

The sale of commercial vehicles increased in November from the same period last year. On the other hand, passenger cars sold slightly less in the same month.

Commercial vehicles sold reached 28,898 units, a 38.8% increase in November this year. In the first 11 months of the year, the segment—which accounted for more than 60 percent of the total market—

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