AMID double-digit growth experienced by the Philippine car industry, the private sector believes government support is vital for this to become attractive, while the increasing number of cars is believed to have worsened traffic.

General Manager Marco Gabriel Borromeo of Sakura Autoworld, one of the dealer networks of Suzuki Philippines, said that government has to support the growing car industry by improving infrastructure.

Suzuki Philippines, in particular, registered a 50 percent growth in car sales last year accounting for 10,500 cars, the highest among its Suzuki counterparts in the world.

Suzuki Philippines’ Shuzo Hoshikura, general manager for automobile sales and marketing division, said in an interview at the opening of a new Suzuki shop in Cebu City that the entire domestic auto industry is projecting a 10 to 15 percent growth in auto sales this year.

The chairman of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board subcommittee on infrastructure and utilities, Fortunato “Jun” Sanchez Jr., was quoted in a Cebu Daily News report that Metro Cebu is losing P132 million worth of man hours—the amount of work a person can accomplish in an hour—due to traffic.

Efren Carreon, director of the National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas, previously noted the low oil prices as an attracting factor for private car users to use their cars more often than before. As a result, traffic has worsened and business owners suffer losses due to delays in delivery of goods.

Car financing has also made car ownership easier. Cebu Bankers’ Club President Maximo Rey Eleccion said that the Bank of the Philippine Islands, where he works as a relationship manager in BPI Capitol branch, approves some 300 car loan applications in a month.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) are forecasting the sale of 350,000 vehicles this year.

CAMPI said that Toyota is leading with 43.32 market share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors with 18.74 percent. Ford Motor Company sits at third with 8.79 percent. Isuzu Philippines Corp. is at fourth with 7.82 percent while Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is at fifth with 6.69 percent.