Vehicle sales nearly double in Aug.

Motorists endure heavy traffic along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, July 28. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

SALES OF VEHICLES in the Philippines nearly doubled in August, driven by strong demand for commercial vehicles as Congress considers a measure removing the excise tax exemption for pickup trucks.

According to a joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), local vehicle sales surged by 90.5% to 30,185 units in August, from 15,847 units sold in the same month last year.

Commercial vehicle sales more than doubled to 23,452 in August, accounting for 78% of the month’s sales. This was mainly due to the 106% rise in sales of light commercial vehicles to 17,973 units and 210% increase in sales of Asian utility vehicles (AUVs) to 4,589 units.

Sales of passenger cars also rose by 38% to 6,733 units, accounting for 22% of the total in August.

Month on month, total vehicle sales for August were also up by 8.5% from 27,813 units sold in July. 

“The recovery of the industry is indeed on track as we reached monthly sales of above 30,000 units — a pre-pandemic monthly performance level last recorded in 2019. This year-on-year improvement of 90.5% in August brings us closer to achieving the industry sales target this year,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a separate statement.

For the first eight months of 2022, CAMPI-TMA members sold 212,872 units, up by 25% from 170,112 units during the same period last year.

Sales of commercial vehicles jumped by 39% to 160,790 units in the January to August period, which accounted for 75% of the industry’s total sales. Broken down, light commercial vehicle sales rose by 43% to 126,633 units, while AUVs went up by 31% to 27,874 units. 

Passenger car sales, on the other hand, contracted by 4.3% to 52,082 units in the eight-month period but still made up 24% of total sales.

“With the return of the 8th Philippine International Motor Show this month, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic of having a stronger year after a period of lower sales achievement because of the pandemic,” Mr. Gutierrez said. 

Among CAMPI-TMA members, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. had the highest sales in the first eight months with 108,746 units sold, equivalent to 51.09% market share.

Other top car manufacturers during the period include Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 30,207 units sold (14.19% share), Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 14,487 (6.81% share), Ford Motor Co. Phils. Inc. with 13,348 (6.27% share), and Suzuki Phils., Inc. with 12,838 (6.03% share).

However, CAMPI earlier warned sales of commercial vehicles will take a hit if Congress approves a measure removing the excise tax exemption for pickup trucks.

In August, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the fourth package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program which included the elimination of the excise tax exemption for pickup trucks.

Under Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, pickup trucks are exempted from excise tax as part of efforts to assist small business owners and professionals.

According to the Finance department, the removal of the excise tax exemption is expected to generate P52.6 billion worth of additional revenues from 2022 to 2026.

“We are concerned about the addition of the taxes. As we know, the demand for vehicles is price sensitive. This will definitely impact prices. We are still recovering. We have not yet recovered fully to pre-pandemic levels,” Mr. Gutierrez previously said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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