By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter
IMPORTED automobile gross sales in 2021 may span between flat to 20% progress, which may rely upon the federal government’s last resolution on safeguard duties, Affiliation of Automobile Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo stated.
The Commerce division slapped 200-day provisional safeguard duties on imported automobiles to guard native jobs after it discovered a hyperlink between a decline in native business employment and an import surge, based mostly on a petition from an auto components labor group.
“The most effective situation is we are going to nonetheless obtain 20% progress this yr with or with out safeguard measures,” Ms. Agudo stated at a BusinessWorld Velocity on-line occasion on Tuesday.
“The worst situation in fact can be, there’ll nonetheless be a flat progress this yr, coming in fact from a really low base final yr.”
AVID reported a 41% gross sales drop to 51,719 items in 2020 in contrast with the 87,169 autos offered in 2019 as a result of lockdowns declared to comprise the pandemic and weak client demand.
In February 2021, imported automobile gross sales declined 15% to five,401 autos in contrast with 6,342 in the identical month final yr, though month-on-month gross sales elevated by three%.
The business expects a slowdown in the course of the 200 days the duties are utilized as the businesses await the outcomes of the Tariff Fee’s investigation, Ms. Agudo stated. Automotive corporations have began elevating costs as they acquire deposits for imported automobiles in the course of the provisional interval.
“On the similar time, [we’re] calibrating our choices as most business gamers are doing proper now, as a result of the actual impression if that is handed would nonetheless be felt in all probability by the final quarter of this yr when, actually, we’ve got already zero stock of the pre-safeguard tax measure pricing,” Ms. Agudo stated.
“However I nonetheless go for the constructive consequence as a result of individuals would nonetheless proceed to wish mobility.”
Ms. Agudo stated that some passenger automobile gross sales stay sturdy as shoppers purchase low-ticket or cheaper items.
“I may see traction going to utility autos as a result of it would present each assist for transportation of individuals and cargo transportation,” she added.
Equally, Chamber of Automotive Producers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) President Rommel R. Gutierrez stated that the business group expects 30-35% progress this yr, however that projection may drop to 20-25% if the duties derail restoration efforts. The restoration of the automobile business to pre-pandemic gross sales, he stated, could possibly be as late as 2023.
The Safeguard Measures Act or Republic Act No. 8800 permits home producers to ask the federal government to conduct an investigation into their import opponents in the event that they declare to have been injured by extreme imports.
Staff group Philippine Metalworkers Alliance, which had petitioned for the safeguards, stated that the duties will not be sufficient to avoid wasting the business. The group stated that the federal government should revisit its automobile business growth program and deal with the excessive prices of energy and transportation.