Imported vehicle sales drop 48% in 9 months


IMPORTED car sales plummeted by 45.6% in the nine months to September this year, while the industry looks to retain quarter-on-quarter growth after lockdown restrictions were eased.

In a report released on Wednesday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) said the industry’s 21 member companies and 26 global brands sold 34,977 vehicles during the nine-month period, compared with 64,274 in the same period last year.

Sales in the third quarter grew 212% to 15,471 units from 4,955 in the second quarter of 2020.

AVID said that the use of digital tools and best value promotions, as well as health protocols in automotive facilities, were factors that led to the recovery of consumer confidence.

“We had to restore consumer confidence quickly and decisively so the auto industry could get back on track and bounce back strong,” AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said. “We aim to sustain this momentum till the last quarter of the year as we continue to reinvent ourselves, innovate, and capture our customer’s imagination. This will put us in a great position as we start afresh in 2021.”

In the first half of 2020, AVID sales dropped by 54.8% from a year earlier after dealerships closed for more than two months during the strictest version of the lockdown.

September usually starts off an upward trend in automotive sales due to the upcoming holiday season.

“The gradual reopening of the economy and resumption of key government projects is seen to spur more demand for commercial vehicles,” AVID said, noting a 91% quarter-on-quarter sales jump.

As of September, passenger car sales dropped 48% to 11,747 units compared with the level in the same period a year earlier. The bulk of the vehicles were sold by Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. with 6,244 units.

Light commercial vehicle sales fell by 43.8% to 23,077 units, led by Ford Group Philippines, Inc., which sold 8,539 units.

Commercial vehicle sales plummeted 68% to the 223 units sold by Hyundai.

AVID did not supply data for September. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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