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Auto sales posted double-digit growth in first quarter, March

Sales of local automobiles grew by double digits in the first quarter of this year, it was learned recently. 

Data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) that were released on April 10 showed that their combined sales for the January-to-March period went up by 23 percent to 94,026 units from 76,473 units in the same period last year.

Sales in March alone rose 32.9 percent to 36,561 units from 27,515 in March 2016.

Sales of commercial vehicles grew faster than that of passenger cars in March. A total of 24,708 commercial vehicles were sold last month, representing a 52.8-percent increase from the previous March’s 16,170 units.

Light commercial vehicles had the largest share in terms of sales last month, reaching 16,271 units. These were followed by Asian utility vehicles, with 6,921 units, and light trucks, with 1,014. Meanwhile, trucks and buses, categories four and five, sold 365 and 137 units, respectively.

Sales of passenger cars last month had an increment of 4.5 percent year-on-year to 11,853 units from 11,345 in 2016.

Campi President Rommel Gutierrez said the country’s automotive industry, with its consistent growth, continues to move toward motorization.

Despite the strong growth recorded in the first quarter, the industry group remained conservative with its 2017 sales target of 450,000 units.

“While the first-quarter performance gives us reason to be optimistic, we are still cautious about our own target for the year,” Gutierrez said.

Market leaders for the first three months of the year were Toyota, with a market share of 43 percent; Mitsubishi, 18 percent; Ford, 8 percent; Honda, 7.8 percent; and Isuzu, 6.9 percent. PNA 

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