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20pc growth in Philippine car production

MANILA (ANN/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER) – In February, the Philippines witnessed a robust 20 per cent surge in vehicle production, surpassing its Southeast Asian counterparts, driven by heightened demand in the wake of the pandemic recovery. 

According to data released by the Asean Automotive Federation (AAF) on Monday, local assemblers churned out 11,608 vehicle units, marking a substantial 20.1 per cent increase from the previous year’s production of 9,662 units. 

Myanmar recorded the highest growth rate among the six Asean economies analysed in the report, soaring by 273.2 per cent, albeit with the lowest production volume of just 41 units.

The Philippines ranked second highest in terms of growth and third in volume. Toyota and Mitsubishi are the two brands with local production hubs.

Malaysia was in the third spot in terms of both growth and production volume as it increased output by 2.8 per cent during the month with 65,611 units.

Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam had lower production volumes, with their output declining by 19.3 percent, 20 percent, and 43.8 percent, respectively.


Post-pandemic recovery

Despite the decline in production volume, Thailand and Indonesia were still the top two producers, with the former delivering 133,690 units and the latter producing 88,715 units.

Meanwhile, Vietnam assembled 7,282 units, ranking fourth and lagging behind the Philippines in terms of production volume.

In total, the six countries produced 317,059 new vehicles in February, marking a 15.6-per cent decline.

Sought for comment, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp chief economist Michael Ricafort told the Inquirer that the sustained double-digit growth in local vehicle production may still be attributed to the continued pick-up and recovery of many businesses and industries from the pandemic.

With the economy reopening toward greater normalcy, he added that there would be stronger demand for big-ticket items, such as vehicles, despite other economic headwinds.

“It is important to note that the sustained double-digit growth in vehicle sales is more than three times the country’s economic growth amid relatively strong employment data in recent months,” he said.

Robust car sales

Car sales in the country grew by 23.2 per cent to 38,072 units in February, based on industry data.

Lower down payment schemes and the availability of more models—especially electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles—could have also contributed to the faster growth, Ricafort said.

Despite the growth in automotive production, all four Asean countries with assembly hubs for motorcycles and scooters recorded varying degrees of decline.

The Philippines saw a 9.5-per cent drop in motorcycle production to 105,307 units while overall regional output fell by 11.5 per cent to 322,873 units.