MANILA, Philippines – The automotive industry expect to sell 127,000 units this year or a 2.3-percent growth from last year’s level, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers Association of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) said yesterday.
“If you remember, at the start of the year, we were hoping for a flat growth as the worst case scenario. So it looks like we’re not only hitting our target, we are going to exceed it,” Elizabeth H. Lee, CAMPI president said in a press conference.
At the same time, CAMPI announced that they see 2010 to be a better year with a four-percent growth on sales.
Lee noted that the growth this year was a direct result of the typhoon replacement rate, overseas Filipino workers’ remittance and the stable financing environment.
According to Lee, the typhoons that hit the country has devastated many vehicles creating an increase in demand for new vehicles as owners scrambled to replace their vehicles. At the same time, the OFW remittance has helped bankroll vehicle purchases. Lee approximated that remittance went up by 8.6 percent for the first nine months of the year.
Likewise, the stable financing environment and the aggressive promotion of partner banks has helped the overall sales performance of the local auto industry.
“We are thankful that the industry was spared from the devastating effects of the global crisis. After all, bucking the trend by growing, especially for a developing country such as ours, is no small feat,” Lee explained.
Strong sales started in September with a 6.9-percent growth and again in October with a double-digit 12.9 percent growth for the month.
Comparing the local industry with the ASEAN neighbors, Lee said that the Philippines outperform other countries in terms of growth. Figures for the first nine months show that other countries contracted. Indonesia declined by –28 percent, Singapore by –26 percent, Thailand by –21 percent, and Malaysia by -8 percent.
“We are faring better than our neighbors in terms of growth for the year. Our auto industry also fared better when the global crisis hit in 2007 with a remarkable 18-percent growth in the same year, another six-percent growth the following year in 2008 and another 2.3 percent growth forecasted for this year 2009,” Lee said.
In spite of the growth figures, Lee said that more has to be done “if we want to remain in the game.” Although the local industry is growing, in terms of sales volume the Philippine is dwarfed by our neighbors. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star)