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By Roy Stephen C. Canivel

The re­cent slew of ty­phoons damp­ened the de­mand for new ve­hi­cles as car and truck man­u­fac­tur­ers re­ported a 32.8- per­cent de­cline in vol­ume sales in Novem­ber as op­posed to the same month a year ago, ac­cord­ing to an in­dus­try head.

A to­tal of 23,162 units were sold in Novem­ber ver­sus 34,465 in the same month in 2019, data from the Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive Man­u­fac­tur­ers of the Philip­pines, Inc. (Campi) and Truck Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (TMA) showed.

The pan­demic has al­ready badly af­fected the sales of car mak­ers, forc­ing deal­ers to of­fer al­lur­ing pro­mos just to dis­pose cur­rent in­ven­tory. Still, the in­dus­try saw signs of re­cov­ery be­gin­ning May, ex­cept for an­other slump in Au­gust and then in Novem­ber.

CAMPI pres­i­dent Rom­mel Gu­tier­rez at­trib­uted the re­cent drop in sales to the con­sec­u­tive ty­phoons that badly hit the re­gions of Bi­col, Cen­tral Lu­zon and Metro Manila in Novem­ber.

Cu­mu­la­tive sales from th­ese re­gions have de­clined by 8.3 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous month, he noted.

“We re­main op­ti­mistic in sus­tain­ing this level of sales per­for­mance for this month, which is crit­i­cal for the in­dus­try to achieve its sales fore­cast,” said Gu­tier­rez. Tar­get The Novem­ber fig­ure brings to­tal sales of Campi and TMA so far to 196,197 units, a 41.6-per­cent drop from the 336,226 units sold in the Jan­uary to Novem­ber pe­riod of 2019.

The in­dus­try is tar­get­ing to sell 240,000 units by yearend de­spite the ef­fects of the pan­demic. Campi and TMA ac­count for about 88 per­cent of the auto in­dus­try in the coun­try in terms of sales.

There is only one month left to reach that goal—which, as his­tory shows, is usu­ally a month when “the in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ences ex­po­nen­tial growth ev­ery year.” If it hits 240,000 unit sales, it would still be nowhere close to where the in­dus­try was last year. Campi and TMA nearly sold 370,000 units last year, whereas the en­tire in­dus­try sold more than 416,000 units.

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