Philippines beats ASEAN neighbours in Auto Sales

Our Philippine corespondent, HAROLD, reports on the vehicles sales in the Philippines for the first half of 2017 because…well…he had something to brag about. 

The Philippines, a country known these days for its notorious yet very popular president, registered the highest auto sales growth rate among its ASEAN neighbours for the first half of 2017, and also the highest economic growth rate (Gross Domestic Product) of 6.4%.

Combined reports from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines (CAMPI), Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) showed that 218,170 units were sold in the first half of 2017, which is a 14.18% increase over the same period in 2016. Commercial vehicles continued to make up a significant share of total sales at 63.01%, and passenger car sales made up the remaining 36.99%.

Toyota, the perennial leader, sold 85,740 units, which is 39.3% of the market, followed by Mitsubishi Motors, far second with 34,549 units, that is 15.84% of the market share. Hyundai remains in third with 17,366 units (7.96%); Ford is in close fourth with 16,695 units (7.65%); Isuzu is in fifth with 14,225 units (6.52%); Honda Cars ranked sixth with 13,789 units (6.32%); Nissan is seventh with 10,651 units (4.88%); Suzuki is eighth with 8,947 units (4.1%).

Records from the ASEAN Automotive Federation shows that the Philippines had the highest 2017 first-half growth rate at 14.18%, followed by Indonesia (which just recovered from a slump) at 5.8%, and Malaysia at a meagre 0.5%. Quite alarmingly, Thailand had dropped in its overall auto sales by 4.7% year-on-year and the biggest loser was Vietnam, with a drop of 6.9% .

Compare these auto growth rates with the GDP Growth Rates from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Focus Economics records: Philippines at 6.4%, Vietnam at 6.2%, Indonesia at 5%, Malaysia at 4.9%, Thailand at 3.4% and Singapore at 2.1%.

A good question to be asked is: Is the growth in auto sales directly related to the growth in GDP. Most economics textbook would say YES. But the present economic and auto sales indicators do not support that economic correlation (except in the case of the Philippines and Indonesia). Vietnam showed an inverse correlation: despite a 6.2% GDP growth rate, its auto sales growth rate is negative 6.9%.


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