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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.
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.
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.
Lucita Reyes quoted another very important figure…
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