The country's automotive industry is optimistic of vehicle sales returning to pre-pandemic levels this year as it projects a 10 to 15 percent growth in sales, according to an official of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI).

In an interview with reporters, CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said they are optimistic that the industry's sales growth will continue in 2023.

'January was a good indicator of what is to come this year. I think we are certain to hit the pre-pandemic level this year,' Guiterrez said.

Latest figures from CAMPI and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed that new motor vehicle sales reached 29,499 units in January - a 42.1 percent increase from the 20,765 units in the same period a year ago.

Citing CAMPI-TMA data, Gutierrez said pre-pandemic vehicles sales in 2019 was at around 360,000 units.

'We are already at 350,000 (level) this year. It's really a small gap and we are confident that we will more than hit the 2019 level this year,' Gutierrez said.

The CAMPI president attributed the optimistic outlook to the pent-up demand for new vehicles and improving supply.

'The supply continues to improve and in fact, we have many models coming this year. So that will really boost the sales.

He said the automotive brands are preparing for full recovery this year.

In an earlier statement, Guiterrez expressed the auto industry's optimism for its continued expansion from the demand-side standpoint driven by the growing domestic consumer market.

'On the other hand, the supply-side challenges are also an important factor that the industry is mindful of as this may hamper the industry growth,' Gutierrez said earlier.

Commercial vehicle sales led the increase in January, posting a 46.8 percent jump to 21,993 units. This accounted for a 74.56 percent share of total vehicle sales in January.

Passenger vehicle car sales grew 29.8 percent to 7,506 units, accounting for a 25.44 percent share of the total sales.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. remained the market leader in January with a 45.52 percent share as it sold 13,428 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. ranked second with a 17.05 percent share while Ford Motor Co. Phils. Inc. had a 7.14 percent share.

Nissan Philippines Inc. landed in the fourth spot with a 6.37 percent market share. Honda Cars Philippines Inc. closed the top five with a 5.56 percent market share.


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