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There’s a new kid on the block:  Geely broke into the Top 10 Sales Performers of 2020 list with total vehicle sales of 2,158.

            Geely, distributed in the Philippines by Sojitz Geely Auto Philippines, thus replaced Kia, which sold 2,129 units in 2020, in 10th place.  Foton Motor PH, with total sales of 2,456 in 2020, remains in 9th place.

            Geely’s joining the Top 10 makes it the second Chinese brand after Foton to be on the list.  Geely officially joined the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) in February 2020 but reported sales starting from November 2019.

            Another China-sourced brand, MG (Morris Garages) would have made it to the Top 10, but unfortunately, MG, which does business in the Philippines under the TCCI (The Covenant Car Company, Inc.) aegis, does not officially report its sales to AVID, of which TCCI is a member.  Thus, MG’s sales figures are not included in AVID’s regular sales reports.      


            Significantly enough, during the first pandemic year, the market shifted to service vehicles aside from budget-priced entry-level passenger cars because of the need to move essential goods and deliver light cargo and merchandise ordered online, given the stay-at-home and social distancing protocols.

            Indeed, if you compare the top 3 best-selling list of the Top 10 brands as of year-end 2020 with the year-end 2019 list, you’ll find that Hyundai’s Kona subcompact crossover was replaced by its H-100 lightweight truck as No. 3 best-seller; Suzuki’s subcompact crossover Vitara gave way to the Carry as Suzuki’s No. 2 best-seller; and Isuzu’s No. 1 best-seller in 2019, the midsize SUV mu-X, dropped out of its top 3 best-seller list of 2020 while  the Traviz became the brand’s No. 2 best-seller.


            Meanwhile, almighty Toyota remains the industry’s undisputed market leader by scoring a 6-digit sales total (100,019) by the end of pandemic year 2020.  The 2nd to 8th-ranking brands (Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai, Suzuki, Ford, Honda, Isuzu) each scored 5-digit sales totals while 9th and 10th placers Foton and Geely each achieved 4-digit sales totals.

            Summing up, the industry’s Iron Lady CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, who amazed everyone by catapulting the Korean brand Hyundai to 3rd place in 2010 and kept it up there until 2019, deserves to have the last say: “While the worst may be behind us, we still have a long way to go.  If we are to restore consumer confidence and revive this sector, we should focus on creating more job opportunities, upgrade infrastructure and logistics, and improve the ease and cost of doing business.  We are all for the long-term development of the auto industry in the new normal.”

(In today’s printed version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it was reported that KIA not Geely occupied the 10th position. But KIA had sales of 2,129 against the 2,158 of Geely/SGAP, so the former slides to No.11. We regret the error-Ed)

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