Auto sales fell 13.7% year-on-year in May, including a 19.6% decline in the sales of cars, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI).
CAMPI released only a table of sales numbers showing volume of 30,620 autos shipped to buyers in May. It did not accompany the table with a statement discussing the reasons for the sales decline, though car dealers have said that they expect higher auto excise taxes in force at the start of 2018 to dampen sales.
The May report comes amid consolidation in the ride-sharing industry, which is a leading buyer of cars, after Uber Technologies Inc. announced its withdrawal from Southeast Asia in March.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) also raised interest rates on May 10, possibly clouding the outlook for future car transactions financed with loans.
CAMPI, one of two automotive associations that supplies statistics about auto sales, counts among its members the car companies that assemble locally, and its sales figures reflect the state of the market for mass-market cars, as opposed to higher-end cars which tend to be imported.
In the five months to May, auto sales fell 10.3% to 142,240 units, CAMPI said. In May the single biggest year-on-year decline was posted by the Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) segment at 4,606 units, though the total rose 33.9% from April.
Sales of commercial vehicles, which are a proxy for durable-goods investment and broader economic activity, fell 10.8% year-on-year in May to 21,219 units. In the five months to May sales fell 10.5% year-on-year to 94,022 units.