With 2008 total vehicles sales of 124,449 falling slight short of the projected industry forecast of 125,000 units, last year’s total vehicle sales performance have increased by a modest 5.6% from 2007. This is in spite of the global financial crisis which hit during the last quarter. Even before the worldwide financial crisis, automotive sales have been resilient to the pressures from peso depreciation, high inflation rates and fuel price hikes which saw prices of gasoline reached a record high of P60/liter.
For this year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) is projecting total industry to be 130,000, which is 4.5% better than last year. MMPC believes, that in spite of the prolonged effects of the global financial crisis, which is affecting a lot of industries, which includes new vehicle sales in first world countries, the local automotive sales will remain positive or worst be flat for 2009. Froilan Dytianquin, MMPC Assistant Vice President for Marketing Services said that, “As long as the local financial institutions / banks are healthy and still be aggressive in accepting vehicle loans and at the same time the Peso to US Dollar remains to be below Php50 level then this industry sales target is achievable”.
Last year MMPC regained No.2 position in the industry with market share of 14%. MMPC sold a total of 17,539 vehicles last year which is around 17% better compared to its 2007 sales of 15,005. MMPC attributes this performance to its exciting new vehicle line up, which was further enhanced with the launch of the all new Lancer EX and Montero Sport 4×4 last year. The all new Lancer EX was one of the highly admired and commended passenger car models by most motoring editors last year, while the Montero Sport was awarded as the Best Executive Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) by the Car Awards Group Inc.
Likewise, the increase in sales for MMPC last year was attributable to the aggressive sales of its core models such as the Adventure, L300 and Strada pick up models. Both Adventure and L300 models continue to attract private and government 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 reliable performance of its 4D56 engine.
Additionally, the new generation Strada pickup continues to dominate the 4×4 pick up segment. The new generation Strada was built not just as a utility truck, but more so for recreation and every use. The Strada boasts of its big cabin space, passenger car level interiors and comfort, excellent handling and performance, and most of all a gorgeous styling which is distinctive from other pick ups currently in the market. The Strada is also the safest pick up in the market today being awarded 4-stars for adult occupant protection by the Euro and Australian NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme). Rave reviews on the Mitsubishi Strada evidently speak of this pick up performance.
For this year, MMPC is expecting to maintain its market share at 14% given the industry forecast at 130,000. “Given our refreshed vehicle line up plus exciting new additions and upgrades for the year, our sales objective for this year is to sell 18,500 units which is 5.4% better last year”, Dytianquin remarked. “Apart from realizing this sales target, MMPC will also be focused in improving further its after sales to ensure the total satisfaction of our customers”, Dytianquin added.