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Outlook upbeat for car firms

THE AUTOMOTIVE industry should sustain its growth this year as conditions remain favorable for new vehicle purchases, the research arm of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) said.

“For 2013, expect domestic demand to remain robust due to manageable inflation expectations and high liquidity. This may lead the automotive industry to modestly growing this year,” Metrobank Research said in a report released yesterday.
 
Record-low policy rates have ensured that the market is awash with cash for consumption and investment. Outstanding loans grew by a robust 15.8% to P3.08 trillion as of last October compared to the previous year. Auto loans comprised P80.008 billion.
 
The industry, however, must be wary of downside risks. Supply shocks could be again an issue, it noted. “The overall weak global economy or the possibility of another natural calamity may limit growth prospects in the near term,” Metrobank Research said.
 
Vehicle sales saw a strong year in 2012, bouncing back from the dive the year prior when the industry was rocked by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand -- two production hubs in Asia.
 
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. reported an 11% jump in sales to 156,649 units last year from 141,616 units in 2011. The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) added that its sales grew by 14% to 28,400 units.
 
“The 2012 growth is a bit above the average annual growth for the past five years (9%), which signals that the sector may be well on a recovery path,” Metrobank Research said.
 
(Source: Business World Online)
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