THE Philippine auto industry will continue to grow, but at a slower pace, an official of a Japanese car maker said.
Suzuki Philippines general manager for automobile sales and marketing division Shuzo Hoshikura said the domestic auto industry is projecting a 10 to 15 percent growth in auto sales in 2016.
This is lower than the 18 percent growth targeted last year. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufactuers Association (TMA) registered overall sales of 288,609 units in 2015 compared to the 234,747 units sold in 2014, exceeding the 272,000 target.
“There is no specific answer, but the economy is still good, (but) OFW remittances, exchange rate, and the election (are seen to affect car sales this year),” Hoshikura told Sun.Star Cebu on Monday during the opening of its newest Suzuki showroom in Cebu at the mouth of the South Road Properties in Cebu City.
Suzuki Philippines, for its part, said it strives to grow beyond the 10 to 15 percent market projection. In 2015, Suzuki in the Philippines registered 50 percent growth or equivalent to 10,500 car units, the highest growth among all its Suzuki counterparts in the world.
In a recent report published in CAMPI’s website, the organization, together with TMA, said the auto industry started this year with a remarkable 27.6 percent year-on-year growth over the January 2015 sales.
The industry sold 23,808 units versus 18,662 units of the same month last year.
By category, passenger cars posted nearly 20 percent increase from 7,200 units in January 2015 to 8,632 units last month. Collectively, the commercial vehicles accelerated by 32 percent coming from 11,462 units to 15,176 units for the same period comparison.
Suzuki holds a market share of more than three percent, said Hoshikura.
The company official said Suzuki is slated to open 10 more shops within the year, in addition to the existing 31.
It’s top-performing dealership Sakura Autoworld, meanwhile, will open three more shops within the year, said its general manager Marco Gabriel R. Borromeo.
Suzuki Philippines, whose cars are manufactured in Japan and Thailand, said it will launch a new sedan in a few months.