MANILA - The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) expects to see "modest" growth for the industry in 2019 due to "favorable" macroeconomic conditions and easing inflation, an official said Thursday.
The boost in election spending and private consumption could fuel the economy, which expanded by 6.2 percent in 2018, AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said in a statement.
The association "expects the industry to pick up as it tries to invigorate the market with new and innovative products in the pipeline for 2019" following a "paltry performance" last year, Agudo said.
"With the favorable macroeconomic outlook for 2019, AVID expects the industry to rally and achieve modest growth," the statement said.
The group said the number of units sold in January 2019 fell 25 percent, with only 6,493 compared to 8,696 in the same month last year due to a "conservative consumer" outlook.
Sales in the passenger car (PC) segment declined by 29 percent in the first month of the year, with 2,254 units sold, AVID said. Hyundai sold 1,443 units out of the total number.
Sales in the local commercial vehicle (LCV) segment also dropped 23 percent to 4,154 units in January from 5,407 compared to the same period last year, it said.
LCV market leader Ford sold 1,749 units in January.
Total sales in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment dropped to 85 units from 105 units in the same period last year. Hyundai sold 64 units while JAC Automobile International Philippines Inc. sold 21 units in the same period, AVID said.
AVID is composed of 11 automotive firms in the country and the top brands with presence in the Philippines.