Motor vehicle sales jumped 56.1 percent in the first semester this year to 132,767 versus 85,041 units in the first six months last year when the government implemented the first hard lockdown policy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) stated that the automotive industry continued to adjust to the effects of the pandemic.

For the first half this year, the industry reported that the passenger car segment grew the fastest with 77.3 percent increase to 42,406 units from 23,912 units versus the same period last year.

The commercial vehicle segment also grew a significant 47.8 percent with sales reaching 90,361 units from 61,129 units in the first half of 2020.

Among the commercial vehicle categories, the big trucks and business (Category V) registered the biggest increase of 79 percent with 605 units sold from 337 in the same period last year. Category IV trucks and buses also increased by 54.9 percent to 1,637 units sold from 1,057 units last year.

Sales of light commercial vehicles or the sports utility vehicle category reached 69,284 units or 49 percent higher than 46,305 units in the same first half in 2020.

Asian utility vehicles category managed a hefty 39.7 percent growth to 16,522 units from 11,831 units.

Sales of light trucks or the pick-up category also grew by 44.7 percent to 2,313 units from 1,588 units last year.

For the month of June, the CAMPI-TMA report showed an encouraging 44.8 percent improvement in total sales of 22,550 units from 15,578 units in June last year.

But compared to the previous month’s (May) sales of 22,062 units, the June sales performance posted only a very modest 2.2 percent growth.

Of the overall sales for the month of June, passenger car sales reached only 7,382 units, down 2.86 percent compared to the previous month’s (May) sales of 7,599 units. But compared to June 2020 sales of 4,711 units, the June 2021 showed a very encouraging 56.7 percent growth.

In terms of commercial vehicle sales, a total of 15,168 units were sold or 39.6 percent growth versus June 2020 sales of 10,867 units.

All commercial vehicle categories posted positive growth except for trucks and buses categories IV and V, which registered negative growth of 1.9 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, when compared to their sales in May this year.

“This is a respite amid the less buoyant consumer outlook for big-ticket items for the second quarter of this year according to a government survey,” said CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez.

“The auto industry continues to adjust to the effects of the pandemic at the same time striving to strike a balance between its contribution to the economy and keeping its stakeholders safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.”

In terms of sales ranking in the first half of 2021, Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. continued to lead with 63,758 units, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 19,858.

Notably, Suzuki Philippines Inc. came in third for the first with overall sales of 9,987 units, with fFord Motor Company Philippines Inc. trailing closely with 9,855 units, and Nissan Philippines Inc. with 9,047 units.

Source: Manila Bulletin (