Manila Auto Show 2013 Part 1: Is the Pinoy car market on the verge of explosive growth?

Manila Auto Show1Good old me at the Manila Auto Show yesterday

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Yesterday I had the privilege to attend the Manila International Auto Show thanks to the invitation of Rico Soriano. This is the first of 3 articles dedicated to the Show, the Pinoy car market and its perspectives in the short/medium term through the views of the main actors of the Pinoy car industry.

See Part 2 here: Has the time come for Chinese manufacturers in the Philippines?

Manila Auto Show2Mini girls at the Manila International Auto Show, April 2013

Back to the Pinoy car market. It is a fascinating time for new car sales in the Philippines and during the opening ceremony Lucita Reyes, Executive Director of the Board of Investments of the Philippines, went through a few key figures that make it clearer why the Pinoy car market could well be on the verge of explosive growth in the coming years. First the total figures: in 2012 a record 184,248 new vehicles were sold in the Philippines, a 12% gain over 2011. However car ownership is still extremely low in the country. With a population of over 95 million inhabitants, there are only 33 registered cars for every 1,000 Filipino and the 2012 figures mean that only 2 new vehicles were purchased last year for each 1,000 inhabitant.

Hyundai Accent Philippines April 2013Hyundai Accent and Jeepney in Manila, Philippines April 2013

How does this compare regionally? The 3 main neighbouring car markets are still way ahead of the Philippines but interestingly they have all also broken their all-time record in 2012. Thailand has been the most impressive with a whopping 81% year-on-year growth to 1,436,355 registrations (or 22 per thousand inhabitants), placing it #12 in the world above Italy. Indonesia was up 25% to 1,116,224 units or 5 per thousand and Malaysia was up 5% to 627,753 registrations or 22 per thousand. Both Thailand and Indonesia experienced their first millionaire year in 2012.

Hyundai Eon Philippines April 2013Hyundai Eon in Manila, Philippines April 2013

Lucita Reyes quoted another very important figure…

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