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‘Good start’ for imported cars in fourth quarter after 16% slump in sales

IMPORTED car sales declined by 16% in October, while the industry continues to look to more growth towards the end of the year.

In a report released on Tuesday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) said the industry’s 21 member companies and 26 global brands sold 6,120 vehicles in October. Previously released data said the industry sold 7,320 in the same month last year.

In the 10 months to October, sales plummeted almost 43% to 40,993 vehicles compared with 71,362 in the same period last year.

But the industry indicated some month-on-month recovery, growing nine percent in October from 5,594 units in September.

“We are off to a good start in the last quarter of the year and we aim to continue this revival,” AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

“Businesses are reopening and travel and tourism are resuming. These activities require mobility and a strong and healthy auto industry will set the course for economic recovery.”

AVID sales had dropped by more than 50% in the first half from the same period a year earlier after dealerships closed during the strictest version of the lockdown. September usually starts off an upward trend in automotive sales due to the upcoming holiday season.

As of October, passenger car sales plummeted 46% to 13,523 vehicles. The bulk of the vehicles during the 10-month period were sold by Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. with 7,177 units.

Light commercial vehicle sales fell 40.1% to 27,209 units, led by the 10,619 vehicles sold by Ford Group Philippines, Inc.

Commercial vehicle sales dropped by 64% to the 261 units sold by Hyundai.

Ms. Agudo said that the industry overhauled its sales strategies during the pandemic.

“So now you can buy a car online, have it delivered to you without face-to-face contact, and do contactless pickups and drop-offs at service locations for your After Sales needs,” she said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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