Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, sold a total of 8,731 units for the first 3 months of 2018, dipping down by a mere 1.2% relative to the 8,841 sold in the same period of 2017. HARI’s Q1 performance was capped off by a 3,179-unit output for the month of March, or an increment of 20% from February sales of 2,649 units. If this is any indication, Hyundai is very well on its way to gaining the momentum moving forward from the short-term effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law on consumer sentiment and purchase behavior.
HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo says: “Hyundai’s dynamism has shown no boundaries as it continues to beat the odds and hurdle any obstacles. First quarter sales remain firm and consistent with the trend in the industry, but we are expecting greater potential for the rest of the year. We are confident to continue this as we serve our customers with bolder, fiercer, unique and game-changing products and services.”
Hyundai maintained its strong presence in the Passenger Car segment by growing 3.7% for the 1st quarter of 2018. With a total of 6,205 units sold, the Passenger Car segment contributed to more than two thirds of Hyundai’s January – March 2018 sales. The Accent leads the pack, accounting for over half of total HARI PC sales, or 3,899 units sold for this period.
For the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) segment, first quarter sales slid by 11.5%, from 2,855 units in 2017 to 2,526 units in 2018. This could be attributed to slower pick up for the Starex and Santa Fe due to customer anticipation for newer model releases latter in 2018.
The economy remains upbeat, given the higher marks in foreign investments and employment, among others. This is despite expectations that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) would increase interest rates. This is more likely to happen with the continuing rise of inflation, triggered by the transitory effects of the first phase of RA No. 10963, or TRAIN Law.
Recent macroeconomic trends and price hikes on basic commodities have initially dampened consumer appetite for cars and other big ticket items. Hyundai remains to grow at par with the rest of the players in the automotive industry, with expectations for a positive sales trajectory as the effects of the TRAIN law will normalize in the following months of 2018. The minimal impact that this had to the 1st quarter sales only proves the brand’s resilience; Hyundai can ride the wave created by recent fiscal reform and come out unscathed.