Car sales up 38% in Q1 of 2012

THE Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid) recorded a 38-percent sales increase in the first quarter of the year compared to that in the same period in 2011.

Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, Avid president, said on Monday the trend is expected to continue in the second quarter, citing key factors anchored on optimistic sales and economic outlook by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“Moving along a predominantly optimistic business and economic scenario, Avid members’ sales performance remains on an upswing. We anticipate this trend to continue as we move into the second quarter of 2012,” she added.

From January to March, Avid members recorded total sales of 8,298 units compared to 6,034 units sold in the same period last year.

The 95-percent increase in the sales of passenger car (PC) vehicles greatly contributed to the recorded growth, with 5,202 units sold compared to 2,674 of the previous year’s first-quarter performance.

In the same period, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. sold 6,767 units, contributing to the overall winning performance of Avid.

Avid said that in March 2012 alone, 1,621 units in the PC segment were sold, compared to last year’s 813 units, representing a 99-percent surge in sales.

Total sales for March showed a 31-percent growth, with 2,791 units sold as opposed to 2,123 in March 2011.

Avid is holding on to the positive outlook of the BSP, which predicted an upward trend in sales of imported cars.

The BSP Consumer Expectations Survey identified availability of jobs, increases in salary, government policies on good governance, sustained investment inflows and appreciation of the peso as among key factors that contributed to such outlook.

The survey showed that respondents considered the current quarter and the year ahead as favorable times to buy consumer durables.

Agudo said ADB initially forecast a 4.2-percent growth in the Philippine economy this year but revised it to 4.8 percent.

Household consumption driven by dollar remittances, stable prices and lending rates will continue to be a major boost to the economy, the Manila-based lender projected.

On top of that is the government’s increased spending for various infrastructure boosted by public-private partnerships.

“Remittances and lower inflation will sustain private consumption, and strong business sentiment will continue to support private investment. A pickup in public investment and accommodative monetary policy will also aid the Philippine economy,” a statement issued by Avid quoted Neeraj Jain, ADB’s country director for the Philippines, as saying.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) earlier reported that the government had released a total of P30 billion for the first quarter of 2012, compared to the P5-billion fund released in the same period last year.

Secretary Rogelio Singson said the DPWH is implementing massive road construction, repair, rehabilitation and upgrading projects, including upgrading of bridges worth around P100 billion this year. Eighty-five percent of these projects have undergone public bidding, with 81 percent having been awarded as of the end of March.

The DPWH sees a big boost to the regular funding program of government for infrastructure projects through some $1.6 billion in funds mainly from ADB, Japan International Cooperation Agency and World Bank.


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