Car sales slow down in August means BUSINESS

MANILA - (UPDATED 8:22 p.m.) Auto sales in the first eight months increased at a slower 6 percent year-on-year, as the inclement weather in August shortened selling days, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines said on Tuesday.

Companies belonging to Campi and the Truck Manufacturers Association sold 11,351 vehicles in August alone, "a slight decline compared to the previous month’s performance...due to the strong monsoon rains that had caused severe flooding throughout Metro Manila," said Campi president Rommel Gutierrez.

The torrential monsoon rains led “to fewer working days on top of the national holidays declared during the month," he said.

"The recent calamity brought about by continuous monsoon rains during the first week of last month have obviously taken away sales opportunities due to several customers deferring their purchases," he added.

Sales during the eight-month period reached 98,725 units, up from 93,108 last year.

"The strong growth can be attributed to the influx of new model introductions for the year and the country’s positive economic outlook which has resulted to the increase in purchasing power of the Filipinos," Gutierrez said.

“The continued strong performance posted by the industry is a clear sign that supply is now stable and manufacturers are able to serve the ongoing strong demand of the market," he said.

Gutierrez said the industry is "still optimistic that we will be able to reach our market forecast of 185,000-unit sales by end of the year" as "the strong demand for the month is a testament to the industry’s bullish performance and positive outlook for the remainder of 2012."

At end-August, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. led the pack with a 40.9-percent share of industry sales. In second place was Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with a 23.1-percent share. Taking the third spot was Honda Cars Philippines Inc., with a market share of 8.3 percent.