It was only in June, or three months ago, that Ford Motor Co. PH lost the No. 3 rank in total vehicle sales to Suzuki PH, Inc. Last month, Ford bounced back by selling 14,704 units year-to-date (YTD) September 2021 versus Suzuki’s 14,445.
Ford now enjoys a healthy lead of 259 units sold over Suzuki, which had an edge over Ford of only 33 units last August, down from 194 units in July. But don’t count Suzuki out yet, the Japanese brand renowned for small, sporty-looking automobiles could spring a surprise before the year ends.
Except for Ford’s moving up, the ranking of the Top 10 Sales Performers remains the same as in August, led by Toyota and Mitsubishi and bookended by Kia.
In terms of MTD (month-to-date) sales, Ford with 1,783 units sold in September again ranked No. 3, followed by Nissan PH, Inc. as No. 4 with 1,737 units sold.
NEW MODELS. The home stretch looks bright for Nissan, having just launched the all-new, turbocharged Almera at a very competitive price in the affordable subcompact sedan segment and before that, the all-new Terra midsize SUV with 360 Safety Shield Technology.
Among the Top Five, Nissan is the only brand, aside from Toyota, that has introduced new models in time for the Christmas shopping season. Quarantine-weary consumers may release pent-up energy by rewarding themselves with a big-ticket purchase, such as a new car. In this scenario, shiny, all-new models are likely to attract more interest than not-so-new or aging ones.
Aside from the ongoing race between Ford and Suzuki for the No. 3 spot, there is the duel between newcomer Geely and Kia for No. 9.
Per the September 2021 YTD sales report, Sojitz G Auto PH (SGAP), the distributor of the Chinese brand Geely, holds the 9th rank steadily with 3,818 units sold versus KP Motors’ (Kia) 2,690, or a lead of 1,128 units sold — almost the same as its 1,251 lead in August.
But change is coming, at least as far as Kia is concerned. Next month, KP Motors will virtually unveil the new Kia, whose global theme has been changed from “The Power to Surprise” to “Movement That Inspires.”
Whether the change in theme will include the intro of a new model or nameplate remains to be seen, but should be worth waiting for.
STILL ON TRACK. In the meantime, car manufacturers continue to offer attractive cash discounts and lighter monthly payment promos to lure customers in a business environment dampened by the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. Suzuki, for example, has cut P150,000 from the SRP of the Vitara GLX AllGrip subcompact crossover, which is imported from Hungary.
Despite the 12.4 % decline in total vehicle sales (21,493 units) this September compared to the same month last year (24,523 units), the automotive industry is still on track to achieve its target of selling 295,400 units by the end of 2021.
The 21,493 units sold reflects a 35.6% improvement compared with 15,847 units sold in August
YTD September 2021, the industry has sold 191,605 units, which is a 29.5% increase versus the same YTD period in 2020.
In a press release, lawyer Rommel Gutierrez, president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the PH, Inc. (CAMPI), expressed optimism for a better sales performance in the fourth quarter this year. “This is driven by the overall improved consumer confidence and household spending, according to the recent government data,” he said.