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May 14, 2020

Philippine sales to fall 20-40% in 2020 as lockdown is eased

The Philippine vehicle market, including domestic sales and imports, is expected to decline by around 20% to around 330,000 units in 2020 from around 416,000 in 2019, according to the latest forecast released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI).

By bcusack

The Philippine vehicle market, including domestic sales and imports, is expected to decline by around 20% to around 330,000 units in 2020 from around 416,000 in 2019, according to the latest forecast released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI).

The latest data released by the association is for February, showing its member companies sold 53,513 vehicles in the first two months of the year – up slightly on the same period of last year.

Sales in this period had not yet been affected by the COVID19 pandemic but were held back by the eruption of the Taal volcano in the southern Luzon which forced vehicle plants and dealerships in the area to close temporarily.

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc (AVID) has already released its first quarter data which shows sales among its 14 member companies falling by 34% to 14,404 units in the first three months of the year.

AVID president Ma Fe Perez-Agudo was more downbeat on the prospects of the overall vehicle market, predicting total volume would decline by as much as 40% this year.

The Philippines is one of the south east Asia countries worst affected by the COVID19 pandemic, prompting the government to impose a strict lockdown in Metro Manila and other key areas of the country on 17 March.

Vehicle manufacturers and dealers, along with most other businesses in the country, have been forced to shut down their operations during the public lockdown to help slow the spread of the virus.

On 15 May the government is set to partially lift the lockdown in key parts of the country, including Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu, until 31 May.

Under the "modified" lockdown regulations, businesses will be allowed operate with 50% of their normal workforce provided they implement safeguards such as disinfecting facilities, take regular temperature readings and ensure that all employees wear face masks.

CAMPI also said it was considering cancelling or postponing the biennial Philippine International Motor Show which is currently scheduled to take place in July.

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