The good news is auto importers and distributors reported a 198% increase in sales from the month of May to June.
In a press statement, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) reported that members sold 3,697 units in June compared to 1,239 units in May.
The not so good news is that AVID, which comprises 21 member companies representing 26 global brands, believes “many factors may continue to dampen industry sales in the coming months.”
With dealerships shut down for over two months under strict community quarantine restrictions, AVID member sales dropped “by 54.8 percent, from the 43,082 units sold in the first half of 2019 to 19,455 units in the same period this year,” it said.
“While AVID members and their partner dealerships have gone to great lengths to Covid-proof their facilities, strengthen online e-commerce assets, and offer extraordinary promotions and deals to win back customers and encourage buying, headwinds remain. These include lower remittances, weaker demand, and the prospect of a second wave, so we can’t let our guard down,” said AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.
AVID members understand that as more businesses reopen under more relaxed community quarantine guidelines, safe mobility would play a great role for any success in returning to normalcy at least as far as the Covid-19 threat would allow.
They are not shirking from providing that mobility.
“This is not the industry’s first crisis but it is surely the most challenging. We can’t face it alone, so we are closely working with government and other stakeholders to help contain this pandemic while gradually reviving the industry in a safe and sustainable manner. Mobility is key to driving the economy forward and a stronger AVID, within and beyond this pandemic, will definitely play a key role,” Agudo said.
More good news
The final section of the 89.21-km Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is now open to motorists further shortening traveling hours to and from the Northern Luzon provinces and significantly boosting economic activity in the region.
The opening of the final 11km segment of the TPLEX is expected to further reduce travel time from Tarlac to Rosario to just one hour from three-and-a-half hours, and Metro Manila to Baguio from six hours to just three-and-a-half hours.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and COO Ramon S. Ang and the Department of Public Works and Highways officials led the ceremony formally opening the final TPLEX segment to the public.
SMC is the parent company of SMC Infrastructure which built and operates the TPLEX.
“In the face of a global pandemic that has also greatly affected our economy and the livelihoods of many Filipinos, we at San Miguel Corporation remain committed to continuing our investments in growth-generating and job-creating projects that will help build the resilience of our people,” said Ang in a press statement.
“Our next goal now is to extend TPLEX all the way to San Juan. We look forward to the continued support of our national and local governments for this project, which will bring even more growth to the region,” he said.
In the same press statement DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said: “Our recovery as a nation cannot wait. We have to start now, and I would like to assure the public that President Duterte, along with the entire Build Build Build team, continue to work with utmost urgency on these projects, which I hope will form the foundation of a new phase of growth for our country.”
Electric news from Nissan
Nissan is among global carmakers leading the way towards a future of zero-emission vehicles.
The Japanese carmakers has rolled out the all-new Nissan Ariya which it describes as “an electric crossover SUV that lets customers travel farther while enjoying greater driving excitement, confidence and comfort, and connectivity.”
The all-new Ariya boasts a 100 percent electric powertrain that provides powerful acceleration and smooth, quiet operation.
Nissan said “drivers and passengers can relax and enjoy the ride thanks to autonomous driving technology, concierge-level assistance, seamless connectivity and a spacious, lounge-like interior.”
It also has a range of up to 610 kilometers per full battery charge.
CEO Makoto Uchida and COO Ashwani Gupta unveiled the Ariya to a global audience during a livestreamed event at the new Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama.
“The Nissan Ariya is a truly beautiful and remarkable car,” Gupta said. “It enables you to go further, easier and in comfort. The Ariya is designed to impress, and to express what Nissan strives for – making our customers’ lives better.”
The all-new Nissan Ariya, priced at around 5 million yen, is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021.
Europe, North America and China will have to wait until the end of 2021.
Hi-Ace for cargo
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has rolled a Toyota Hi-Ace variant specifically for use in transporting cargo.
The Hi-Ace Cargo comes at a time when more and more micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses are relying on the delivery of products directly to customers and consumers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“TMP, in pursuit of providing for the needs of the market, has introduced the Hiace Cargo to cater to customers who have requirements to transport load in a safe and secure way,” said Sherwin Chualim, TMP first vice president for vehicle sales operations.
“It is also timely as we are also able to cater to the needs of the market for goods transfer during this pandemic situation,” Chualim, said.
The Hi-Ace Cargo retails at Php1,101,000 this July.
New Strada Athlete
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has unveiled the New Strada Athlete.
In a press statement, MMP describes the Strada Athlete as a powerful and durable truck with a tougher and sportier aesthetic design with black dynamic shield, black front bumper garnish, 18-inch black alloy wheels, black roof, styling bar and side decal accents complemented by a luxurious two-tone interior finish.
“We are very excited to introduce the Strada Athlete here in the Philippines. It’s robust and sporty design best represents the capabilities of our truck. With 40 years of truck engineering heritage, the Strada has been refined to become a well-balanced road warrior that does not only conquer rough terrains but also provides advance technology, comfort and safety to its driver and passenger,” said Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, MMP president and CEO.
Isuzu Davao groundbreaking
Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) held groundbreaking ceremonies for the Isuzu Davao dealership at MacArthur Highway, Matina in Davao City.
Isuzu Davao will be the 11th local dealership to adopt the Isuzu Outlet Standardization (IOS) design concept.
In remarks at the groundbreaking which was shared online with media, IPC president Hajime Koso said: “As IPC aims for the utmost ‘Customer Success,’ the IOS is aligned with Isuzu’s Global Dealership Standards that give importance to not just the sales side but the overall customer journey—starting from their inquiry, sales, after sales service and their continuous return to our showroom. The new outlet standard will enable us to provide customer support in every step of the way.”
The IOS design concept aims to create a conducive atmosphere leading to improved customer experience and smoother business operations; the application of purposeful design tailored to varying customer needs; and the communication of Isuzu’s reputation for durable, reliable, strong and fuel-efficient vehicles.
“As we face the Covid-19 pandemic, local and world business leaders are adopting new measures in order to protect and preserve their identity in the market. We at Isuzu Davao are firm and resolute in our decision to carry out the mission of demolishing the old building and constructing a new and modern showroom,” said Jockson Liu, Isuzu Davao president.