MANILA - Sales of Japanese carmakers in the Philippines fell at least 68 percent during the second quarter of the year due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with some signs of recovery seen on a monthly basis, according to industry association figures released Monday.
Data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines and the Truck Manufacturers Association showed major Japanese companies in the country sold 18,046 units.
During the three-month period, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. sold the most vehicles at 9,952 units, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. at 2,898 units, and Suzuki Philippines Inc. 1,793 units.
Sales of Nissan Philippines, Inc. were at 1,191 units, Isuzu Philippines Corp. at 1,141 units, Honda Cars Philippines Inc. at 993 units, and Sojitz Fuso Philippines Corp. at 78 units.
Month-on-month trends suggest some degree of optimism for Japanese carmakers in the country, with vehicle sales increasing to 4,067 units in May from 100 in April.
posting a 3,967 percent increase from April to May as sales rose from 100 to 4,067 units.
From May to June, an increase of 241 percent was seen, with sales rising from 4,067 to 13,879 units.
Viewed in its entirety, the Philippine automobile industry showed signs of recovery from May to June, posting a gain of 225 percent with sold vehicles rising from 4,788 to 15,578 units.
"This positive growth shows early signs that consumer demand for new cars is starting to improve, albeit slowly," CAMPI president Rommel Guiterrez said, adding that the industry may take time to recover with industry sales remaining a challenge.
Guiterrez, who is also vice president at Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., said the company is maximizing digital platforms to promote sales in an effort to adapt to the "new normal."
The pandemic caused businesses in the country to slow down in the last several months due to the wide-scale lockdown imposed by the government.
As of Monday, authorities have recorded 57,006 cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, including 1,599 deaths.