Car sales grow 5.8% in first 2 months

Posted at 03/09/11 4:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Vehicle sales grew 5.8% to 22,518 units in the first 2 months of the year, industry data showed on Wednesday.

"[This is] a good sign, considering the high growth rate seen in 2010 whose sales were primarily boosted by election fever and the effects of typhoon Ondoy," said Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. president Elizabeth Lee.

Passenger car sales grew 8.6% to 7,856 units, while commercial vehicle sales climbed 4.3% to 14,662 units. They accounted for 35% and 65% of total sales, respectively.

Lee said the industry is optimistic of continued growth despite rising prices of fuel and basic commodities.

"Banks continue to be aggressive in their lending activities, the entrepreneurial trend continues to help boost sales and OFW remittances will continue to help fuel consumption. We remain hopeful that the conflict in the Middle East will be short-lived. Further, we expect the positive gains earned by businesses last year to be reflected into productive use this year. Expansion is still seen in the business sector," she noted.

In 2010, car sales reached a record high, growing 27.2% over 2009 levels.

Growth, however, is expected to slow down to around 4% to 5% this year in the absence of election-related spending.