The Philippine automotive industry closed 2010 with record breaking sales of 168,490 units exceeding the sales record set by the industry in 1996 of 162,056 units. Although the actual 2010 industry sales is short of the revised targeted volume forecasted by Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.’s (CAMPI) in the last quarter, still 2010 year end sales registered a double digit industry growth of 27.2% surpassing 2009 total retail sales volume of 132,444 units.
CAMPI and the Truck Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) credit 2010’s sales performance to the aggressiveness of automotive players in introducing new models coupled with several promotion schemes and financing packages that offer flexible terms and making it easy for consumers especially entry level buyers to purchase, and strong Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittances. Also contributing to the increase in sales last year was the election spending and the peaceful turn-over of presidency resulting to a continuous consumer and business confidence and stable economic environment. The residual effects of typhoon Ondoy in 2009 have also contributed in boosting sales during the first quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) marked the year with an impressive 39% sales growth accounting for 32,422 units sold compared to its 2009 sales of 23,247 units. MMPC December sales in particular of 3,085 units also reflects the highest monthly sales volume achieved by MMPC after the Asian crisis of 1997. MMPC December 2010 also accounts for a double digit increase of 26.9% as compared to the same month in 2009. For 2010, MMPC was also able to increase its market share to 19.2%. With these notable sales figures, MMPC remained to be the strong second industry leader.
MMPC also registered increases in almost all of its segments. Passenger cars increased by 45% with 2,265 units sold compared to 1,562 units sold in 2009. With its very competitive pricing the Lancer 1.6 continues to attract sub-compact passenger car buyers with its much larger size and it is more equipped with features. Accordingly, MMPC attributes the growth in its Lancer 2.0 EX sales volume as it is now more affordable with the introduction of the MMPC assembled Lancer EX models. The Lancer EX 2.0 liter leads the compact sedan 2-liter segment last year with total sales of 1,010 units for a 51% share.
MMPC’s Light Commercial Vehicle also increased by 41.8% with 29,728 units sold compared to 2009 sales of 20,959 units. MMPC credits this performance to the strong sales of its Montero Sport, Adventure, Strada pick-ups and L300 models. Both Adventure and L300 models continue to attract private fleet, as well as small to medium scale entrepreneurs, and OFWs and their dependents. The Adventure and L300 continue to be significant due to their very low cost operation and maintenance and the reliable performance of its Euro-2 compliant 4D56 engine. With its value for money proposition the Montero Sport remains to be one of the bestselling models with a total of 12,247 units sold controlling the midsize SUV segment with 48% market share. In fact, it was voted as ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ by distinguished motoring media during the Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards. Additionally, the Strada became the best selling double cab pickup in 2010 with total sales of 3,978 units cornering 27% share of the double cab pick up segment.
Also for 2010, MMPC introduced the all new ASX Active Crossover, an addition to its refreshed vehicle line-up. The ASX or Active Sport Crossover was publicly launched during the 3rd Philippine International Motor Show in August which instantly received wide consumer acceptance.
For 2011, MMPC is optimistic that sales will continue to surge and it will continue to improve further its market share. “For this year, our objective is to sell 36,000 units or 11% growth from our 2010 sales of 32,422 units at the same time increase our market share to 20%”, Taizo Furuhasi, Executive Vice President for Marketing remarked. Given its refreshed vehicle line-up and significant model upgrades for this year MMPC is confident that it will surpass its 2010 sales performance. “Aside from concentrating on achieving our sales goals, MMPC is also on its continuous commitment to improve its after sales and customer service that will equate to loyalty and total satisfaction from our valued customers”, Mr. Furuhashi added.