Motor vehicle sales in seven Asean countries fell by 16 percent to 255,263 units in January this year, according to data from the Asean Automotive Federation.
Of the total sales generated for the month, the Philippines accounted for a mere 6 percent with 15,642 units, placing fourth among the seven countries. Indonesia chalked up the biggest sales with 107,456 units during the period, dislodging Thailand with 68,508 units.
Malaysia sold 50,273 units in January, while Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei sold 8,900 units, 2,938 units and 1,546 units respectively.
In terms of motor vehicle production, five Asean countries similarly posted a 16.7-percent decline to 335,411 units, with the Philippines accounting for only 1 percent of the total with 5,880 units.
Thailand remained the biggest manufacturer in the region, producing 162,652 units, followed by Indonesia with 103,497 units. Ranking third was Malaysia, which manufactured 55,503 motor vehicles in January. Vietnam placed fourth with 7,879 units.
The Philippines continues to fall behind its neighbors in the Asean despite posting year-on-year increases in sales and production. In January, sales as reported by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) grew 27 percent, which should have signaled a strong start for the local automotive industry.
However, most Philippine automotive firms are holding out on additional investments to increase production until the government issues the much awaited automotive roadmap, which will outline the targets, direction and policies of the industry.
In February, officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hoped to talk to members of the Cabinet’s economic cluster this month, to present the revisions made in the automotive roadmap, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said.
Also, the officials have collated the information regarding the incentives given to car manufacturers elsewhere in the region, which would be used as basis in formulating the perks to be granted to Philippine automotive firms, Domingo said.
(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)