The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) – with 20 member companies representing 26 global brands was able to sell a total of 14,404 units for the first quarter of 2020. This represents a drop of 34.4% in units sold compared to the first quarter of 2019. The drop in sales can be attributed to the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the COVID-19 pandemic. When the EQC was put into place it caused many dealerships nationwide to temporarily shut down. While the quarantine was done in the interest of public health and safety it did play a part in the lowering vehicle sales numbers for the first quarter of 2020.
Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo continues by stating that “The industry is no stranger to adversity but this pandemic will be our toughest challenge yet. We estimate that it would take at least 12 months for the local industry to recover once the ECQ is completely lifted. There will be a ‘new normal’ and we must be quick to adapt since Filipino consumers will be even more prudent and looking for more value in their purchases.”
Sales in the Passenger Car (PC) segment have gone down by 43% in the first quarter of 2020 with 4,50 units being sold. Compared to the same period in 2019, car sales were much higher coming in with 7,848 units. Despite this Hyundai leads the segment with 2,724 units sold followed by Suzuki with 1,127 units and Ford with 415.
Over in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment year to date sales have shown a downturn of 29% with only 9,806 units sold. For this segment, Ford is leading the way with 3,479 units sold followed by Hyundai with 2,797 and by Suzuki with 2,740 units. The Commercial Vehicle segment has suffered the most during the quarantine period. It has shown the steepest decline in sales with a drop of 62% as only 92 units were sold in the first quarter.
The future is still unknown for the automotive industry as sales may continue to dip further due to the ECQ being extended for the whole month of April until the middle of May.
Despite the decline in sales, many members of AVID have joined in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Several companies are already providing free transportation to medical front line workers as well as medical supplies, and essential goods across the country. Some have also donated personal protective equipment, masks, gloves, and other protective gear to COVID facilities. As the end of the pandemic has yet to be reached the automotive industry is working with the government and medical facilities to help protect the health of the public.