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Auto sales growth speeds up in Feb

MOTOR vehicle sales accelerated in February, automakers reported on Wednesday, raising industry hopes of a strong first quarter and possibly another record result this year.

A total of 38,072 units left showrooms last month, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association said in a joint report, up 23.2 percent from the 30,905 units sold a year earlier.

The growth rose from 15.5 percent in January, when sales totaled 34,060 and prompted Campi President Rommel Gutierrez to say «we hope to keep this momentum and achieve a strong first quarter finish, which will set the outlook for 2024.»

He attributed February's gain to early marketing initiatives and enhanced inventory management, adding that steady interest rates were sustaining customer confidence.

Year to date, vehicle sales rose to 72,132 units from 60,404 — a 19.4-percent increase.

Sales hit a record 429,807 units last year and automakers are hopeful of hitting 500,000 in 2024, helped by the staging of the 9th Philippine International Motor Show later this year.

Commercial vehicles continued to account for the bulk of sales with 28,434 sold in February, 19.9 percent up from a year earlier. Passenger cars accounted for the remaining 9,638 and grew by a larger 34.1 percent.


The two-month tally rose by an annual 18.2 percent to 54,048 for commercial vehicles while passenger car sales were 23.1 percent higher at 18,084.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. continues to lead the market, having sold 33,070 units as of end-February for 45.85-percent market share.

It was followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., which tallied 13,271 or 18.4 percent of the market.

Ford Motor Co. Philippines Inc. was third (5,178 or 7.2 percent) and rounding out the top five were Nissan Philippines Inc. (5,148, 7.1 percent) and Suzuki Philippines Inc. (2,950, 4.1 percent).