Vehicle importers in the country posted a 17-percent drop in sales in 2018 selling only 88,700 units compared to 106,285 units during the previous year.
On Wednesday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) reported that sales of both passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments were down last year by 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
AVID members sold a total of 30,960 units of passenger cars last year, markedly lower than the 39,721 units they sold in the local market in 2017.
Light commercial vehicle sales also slowed down to 57,027 units last year from 66,564 units in 2017.
“Full year 2018 AVID sales recorded 88,700 units sold amidst unfavorable economic conditions,” said AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.
AVID cited headwinds that challenged the market last year such as the high inflation rate, rising borrowing costs, increasing oil prices, and the new excise tax on automobiles.
Despite the decline last year, the vehicle importers’ group is optimistic about its outlook for 2019, as the economy is expected to grow above 6 percent, inflation is seen to slow down, and the central bank is projected to loosen its monetary policy.
With this, AVID forecasts the industry to grow by 10 percent this year.
“With new product launches and economic pressures seen abating moving forward, AVID expects that the industry will recover from the sales slump in 2019,” Perez-Agudo added.