Hyundai sales down in August

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HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. saw August sales decline nearly a tenth and expects the slow down in automotive buying to continue amid increasing global oil prices and the continuing effect of the excise tax on vehicles coupled with the rapid rise of inflation.

In a report sent Tuesday, the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country said sales in August totaled 3,273 units, an 8.7% dip from the 2.987 units sold in the same month a year ago.

“Increasing global oil prices and higher retail prices due to the excise tax put on automotive vehicles appear to be the delimiting factors for automotive sales in the Philippines,” the firm said.

Hyundai considered its August sales decline as “minimal,” considering it “has consistently maintained a conservative growth trajectory for 2018.”

“August performance alone was exceptional given that it is the third best performing month for the brand with 2,987 units sold,” it said.

Dragging overall sales for the month, the passenger cars segment plunged 31.8% to 1,448 units sold compared to August 2017’s 2,122 units. The segment includes the Accent, Elantra and Sonata models, among others.

Meanwhile, the purchase of light commercial vehicles (LCV) increased 33.7% to 1,539 units from August 2017’s 1,151 units. Hyundai’s Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, Grand Starex and H-100 are classified as LCV.

“With the introduction of the Kona, August saw monthly LCV sales surpassed that of PC for the first time,” Hyundai said, attributing its maintained competitive position in the market to the car model’s popularity in the subcompact SUV market.

Year to date, Hyundai’s sales slid 8.3% to 22,223 from the 24,233 logged in the January to August period in 2017.

In the first eight months, passenger car sales dropped 16.7% to 13,935 from 16,725 a year ago, accounting for the bulk or 62.71% of the total sales.

Among Hyundai’s passenger cars, Accent remained a favorite with 9,929 units sold. This was followed by Eon, with 3,062 units. Elantra came in third with 936 units and Sonata, fourth with one unit, while others saw seven units sold. — Janina C. Lim