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Car importers post sales slump in August

September 17, 2021 - Friday 7:09 PM by GDM

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Car importers posted a double-digit sales decline in August, no thanks to fresh lockdowns that hit demand anew.

Imported cars sold in August stood at 3,919 units, down 18% year-on-year, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID), an industry group, reported Friday.

Month-on-month, sales contracted by a bigger 19%.

Despite the weak sales, AVID said the Philippine automotive industry “remains on track toward recovery.”

“This slowdown was mainly caused by the sporadic lockdown due to new highs in recorded COVID-19 cases,” AVID said in a statement.

The sales slump could indicate a protracted economic weakness amid the pandemic, as car sales are often used as an indicator of the economy’s health.

This is because consumption historically accounts for over 70% of the Philippine gross domestic product, so low demand for durable goods like vehicles could be a symptom of an anemic economy.

“The entire industry hit a pot hole in August due to the necessary health restrictions. Despite this, we at AVID choose to be optimistic as we approach the final stretch of the year,” said AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.