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Domestic auto sales start strong in 2014

Domestic automotive sales started strong in the first month of the year with two of the country’s biggest players Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Philippines and Korea’s car giant Hyundai posting whopping increases of 50% and 35 percent, respectively.


TMP: 50% Up  

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP),  the number one automotive company in the country, started 2014 strongly selling 7,062 units in January or 50 percent higher than the 4,716 units sold in January 2013.

Toyota Motor PhilippinesThis strong sales performance can be attributed to continuous high demand for its completely knocked-down (CKD) models the Innova and Vios as well as ample supply of its other models.

This was led by the country’s best-selling model, the Vios proving to be a valuable asset in Toyota’s hold on the No. 1 spot in the Passenger Car segment and overall sales. Furthermore, in the CV segment, the Fortuner experienced its highest sales since its introduction with 1,623 units sold in a single month.

TMP’s strong start also showed it garnered 45% share of the local automotive market, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.

In a statement, TMP President Michinobu Sugata stated “I am pleased to announce that TMP started the year strong in terms of sales. Coming from an encouraging performance last month, we are optimistic that demand will continue to be favourable because of positive economic outlook and new model introductions. Just after the successful launch of the All-New Corolla Altis last January, this month, TMP will be launching two new models that are expected to boost our sales even further.”

For 2014, TMP has set a conservative 20 percent sales growth and hopes to maintain a sales ratio of 54:46 in favor of imported completely built-up packs (CBU), which is below the ideal 50:50 ratio for imported CBUs and locally assembled models sales mix. The company posted a record 16 percent growth in sales in 2013.

This year’s sales forecast would be boosted by the new Altis model and new model launches like, including “Wego”.

Toyota’s best selling compact car Vios and multi-purpose vehicle Innova will continue to drive sales. These two are its only remaining models that are locally-assembled as completely knocked down packs.


Hyundai: 35% Growth

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the country’s third largest car company, is also off to a good start with dramatic 35 percent increase in sales in the first month of the year amid the company’s aggressive posturing with 4 new model launches planned for the year top billed by the return of diesel-powered Accent, but on hatchback design.

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. HARI president and CEO Fe Perez-Agudo said at the opening of its 43rd dealership the Hyundai Paranaque that four new Hyundai models — new Accent diesel hatchback, Grand Sta. Fe, new i10, and new Grand Starex will see action this year.

The four new models would add more vibrancy to its 25,000 unit sales target for the year or a conservative 10 percent growth over 2013. Perez, however, said that the target will be reviewed on a quarterly basis noting that the Korean headquarters has already resolved its supply constraint problem by prioritizing the Philippines in the supply allocation. In January alone, Agudo reported that sales went up 35 percent to 2,500 units over January 2013.

The Sta. Fe model already contributed 200 units in sales for January alone, including the old model and some new Grand Sta. Fe.

Accent diesel was discontinued for lack of supply a few years back and was replaced with Accent gasoline. With the reintroduction of the popular Accent diesel, Agudo expects the company to further firm up its number two position in the B segment of the passenger car market.

Also driving the company’s sales performance this year is the opening of new dealerships in Marilao, Cabanatuan and Batangas City by December this year. Overall, HARI will have a total of 46 dealership network nationwide. Perez said that the new dealers are also expected to help beef up sales.

Movie and television actor Dingdong Dantes, Hyundai Parañaque West vice-president, said the newest HARI dealership has a sales quota of 70 units a month. Parañaque West, the WIT Autogroup Corporation’s automotive unit, has invested P70 million for the new state-of-the art dealership to serve the needs of Paranaque, which is home to half a million people.

Dantes who partnered with Buhay Partylist Rep. Irwin Tieng for his first venture in the auto industry said his group has decided to get Hyundai dealership because he believes in the “New Thinking, New Possibilities” motto of Hyundai.

“As an actor, we are always on the go. We want challenging roles and these are embodied in Hyundai,” he said.

He also cited Hyundai as a company with conscience for its corporate social responsibility programs especially during the typhoon Yolanda.

As a car lover, Dantes said, he always admires the quality of Hyundai cars, the technical expertise and the service that it extends to clients.

Dubbed as the Hyundai Center of Excellence in the south, Dantes said the new dealership is designed to serve and to delight its customers.

Available Hyundai car models in the country include Grand Starex, Tucson, Sta. Fe, Genesis Coupe, i10, Elantra, Accent Sedan, Accent Hatchback, Sonata. And Eon.