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Taal pulls down car sales 12%

AJ Bajo

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Automotive firms booked sales which were 11.8 percent lower in January due to the adverse effects of the steam-driven eruption of Taal volcano which affected production plants.

In a joint report, member companies of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said total vehicle sales in January totaled 23,723 units, down 11.8 percent from 26,888 units a year ago.

“Majority of plants and some dealerships located in South Luzon were badly hit by ashfall that also affected operations in some areas of Metro Manila. Some companies were also forced to temporarily suspend its operations for safety reasons,” CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said.

Still, he added the car group is working “double time to catch-up with last month’s losses” as operations were back on track.

CAMPI-TMA also sold 29.6 percent lower units in January compared to the 33,715 units it sold in December.

Delivery vans slumped

Meanwhile, commercial vehicles still drove sales, albeit receding 6.6 percent to 17,180 units. Light commercial vehicles followed, down seven percent to 13,988. Passenger car sales dropped 22.9 percent to 6,543, while AUV sales climbed 2.9 percent to 2,479 units.

There were less buyers of category four trucks and buses at 233 units, down 29.8 percent, while sales of light trucks also declined 28.7 percent to 365 units. Sales of category five buses jumped 4.5 percent to 115 units in January.

Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) remained the market leader in January with a market share of 37.47 percent, albeit car sales were lower by 21.7 percent, to 8,890 units. To note, TMP has a plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna wherein it assembles its best-selling models Vios and Innova.

Sales down across-the-board

TMP is followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. which booked 1.9 percent lower auto sales to 5,011 units. MMPC also has a local production line in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for the Mirage G4 model. Nissan Philippines Inc. came in third with 8.9 percent lower sales, to 2,825 units.

Honda Cars Philippines Inc. and Ford Motor Co. Phils. Inc. secured the top four and five spots with 9 percent 16.6 percent lower car sales, respectively.

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