Despite the worsening health crisis brought on by a persistent and ever-mutating pandemic, the automotive business sector seems to be moving along just fine, based on recent industry updates.
For starters, the industry received good news that the Philippine Tariff Commission has recommended the discontinuation of the safeguard tax measures on imports of completely built up (CBU) passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Various carmakers have already announced that they would refund the security deposits previously collected from their buyers.
Honda Cars Philippines Inc, for instance, has disclosed that the processing of refunds had started last Aug. 16. HCPI thus advised its customers to download and fill up the Safeguard Refund Form via https://bit.ly/3m4dwEr, and submit the forms along with other documents indicated in the form to their Honda dealership.
Another bright spot has been Hyundai Asia Resources Inc (Hari) reporting a 4.1-percent sales growth in July versus June, brought about by sales of commercial vehicles (CVs)—Hari’s main growth driver—which saw a remarkable increase of 232.1 percent in July versus June, offsetting the slight decline in LCVs which dropped by 12.1 percent.
Hari’s passenger cars held steady with a 3.8-percent sales increase in July versus June, with the locally assembled Accent remaining a growth driver with a 23.9-percent increase in sales in July versus the previous month.
The year-to-dat e growth rate of Hari’s CVs, which currently stands at 446.2 percent versus the same period in 2020, has been mainly brought about by strong sales of the HD65, HD36, and HD50S trucks.
As far as easy-to-own promotions are concerned, Suzuki Philippines Inc is extending its “Ride Your Dream” low down payment promo for its models the Ertiga, Swift, and Celerio until the end of August. Interested Suzuki buyers can log on to http://suzuki.com.ph/auto/ for more details.
On the other hand, Changan Motor Philippines Inc presents its own promo “Kailangan, Changan”, ongoing until Sept. 30, wherein one can already own an Alsvin sedan for as low as P361 per day, or even a CS35 Plus or CS75 Plus SUV for low daily rates. Under the promo, each Changan vehicle purchase comes with an all-in package inclusive of a one-year comprehensive motor car insurance, three-year LTO registration, free Chattel mortgage, and standard freebies such as tint, floor mats, and seat covers. For more details, log on to www.changanphil.com.
Another Chinese brand is also doing good in the local market. Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP), which carries the popular Geely brand, said it was able to simultaneously open 15 new dealerships and undertake 17 new dealer franchise projects. This was revealed in a report presented by SGAP Network Development. Geely Philippines, for its part, was also able to maintain its high sales marks, particularly for the Coolray in the subcompact SUV segment, from January to June this year, retaining 9th place in total industry sales. New projects are scheduled for the remainder of 2021 to further boost Geely’s presence nationwide.
Gratitude to compatriots
Rounding up the Chinese-made brands is GAC Motor Philippines, which has an ongoing nationwide promo, the Champion’s Deals, in celebration of its triumph from recent endurance races. Under the promo, GAC is offering up to P270,000 discount on its vehicle models. The promo runs until Sept. 30.
GAC Motor Philippines, the local arm of Guangzhou Automobile Motor Corp Limited, held an Aug 18 roundtable with members of the motoring media. During the online meet, Gio Frias, GAC PH VP for sales and operations, thanked the media and other Chinese auto brands for helping tremendously in the effort to end the so-called “Chinese car stigma” in the country.
“(Our) sales are doing great in the midst of the situation. We just launched our virtual showroom, which is quite unique because it has a voice over, and the photos are as realistic as possible,” Frias announced.
“We are thankful to our competitors who have been very aggressive with their test drives and marketing initiatives. This foundation will really help us in increasing our sales,” he added.
GAC PH also announced that three new models would be launched—the all-new GS4, the bulletproof GS8, and the GN8 Master’s Edition. It revealed it would be opening new dealerships—two in 2021, and two more in the first half of 2022.
It also invited owners of non-GAC brands to try its after-sales services, which include preventive maintenance services, electric diagnostics, tune-ups, freon recharging, wheel alignment, tire installation, muffler and exhaust repair/installation, brake repairs, change oil and lube, car wash, detailing, washover, body repair and collision estimates, car paint jobs and car disinfection.
Nissan, meanwhile, offers its own easy-ownership promo for the Navara and its other models this month. Buyers can avail themselves of zero cash out on the Nissan Navara 4×2 AT and MT variants with free amortization for two months. Similar offers are also available for the Almera, Urvan, Sylphy, Terra, and X-Trail, with free monthly amortizations ranging from one to eight months, depending on the model. In addition, free insurance for the first year of purchase and chattel mortgage are included in the package. These deals are good up to Aug. 31, 2021, exclusively through BPI.
For details on Nissan’s latest promos, logo on to https://www.nissan.ph/latest-news/nissan-latest-deals.html.
In the luxury cars segment, Lexus Philippines introduced the Lexus RX 450h luxury hybrid SUV.
The Lexus RX 450h’s self-charging full hybrid system features a 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 petrol engine and front and rear motors, with the total system output (engine and electric motors combined) amounting to 308hp. The engine’s combustion chamber design generates a high degree of tumble inside the cylinders, improving combustion performance and fuel consumption.
Every RX 450h unit has been crafted by Takumi master builders, showcasing a stunning exterior and a luxurious interior. Lexus engineers identified key areas in the rocker panels, rear wheelhouses and the underbody where additional spot welds and the use of structural adhesive could deliver a more rigid body. In all, an extra 4.2 meters of adhesive and 14 weld points have been added in these areas, accomplished using the existing tooling on the production line at the Kyushu plant. This increases the integrity of the panel joints, benefiting both stability and ride comfort.
Laser screw welding has also been used in the RX 450h’s construction, and high-tensile strength steel is applied in key areas such as the underbody cross members and the front and center pillar sections.
Last Friday, Lexus Philippines sent this update: “The most thrilling and aggressive iteration of the Lexus IS sport sedan is the one that awaits you at the Lexus Manila Showroom today. The new IS is a catalyst for future Lexus models.”
With this, Lexus Philippines announces that all IS models are crafted with the Lexus Driving Signature in mind: Balanced and linear, while giving the driver utmost control and confidence on the road. The new IS, agile and provocative, suits both weekday and weekend drives, and would be worthy as an all-around sports sedan. For details, visit lexus.com.phand the Lexus Remote page at https://fal.cn/3eSWW.
Toyota, meanwhile, celebrated its global milestone of 50 million Corolla models sold. As the brand’s most recognized model, the Corolla’s winning combination of build quality, reliability, safety and durability is now on its 12th iteration. Responding to changing lifestyles, Toyota introduced an SUV to the Corolla lineup—the Corolla Cross—to satisfy diverse customer needs.