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Hyundai posts modest sales rise in 7 months.

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, sold 19,790 units in the first seven months of 2019 equivalent to a 1.6 percent growth versus the 19,478 sold in the same period last year boosted by its strong light commercial vehicle (LCV) line up amid a significant decline in passenger car sales.

In a report, HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said the most preferred South Korean vehicle brand's resilient performance for the year can be attributed to strong sales in major segments of its business, namely the LCV which grew 28 percent and commercial vehicles (CV) with 140 percent growth.

Growth in these segments managed to offset the 15 percent decline in passenger cars to 10,565 units from 12,487 units in the same January-July period last year.

Its Passenger Car (PC) business continued to be fueled by its flagship Accent and the Reina, which was launched early this year. "This year has been challenging for the automotive industry but Hyundai's modest growth reflects its resilience and strong brand anchored on reliable and comfortable vehicles, superior customer service, and continuing programs to ensure worry-free ownership," said-Agudo.

"With key programs in the pipeline, we aim to end the year strong," Agudo added. The LCV segment grew by 28 percent in the first seven months of 2019 to 8,645 units. The CV segment sold a total of 580 units or 140 percent from only 242 units.

The globally-awarded Kona is now one of the best-selling SUVs in the market with sales increasing by 474 percent over the period to 2,455 units. The versatile H-100 - which has numerous applications including cargo van, ambulance, modern jeepney, refrigerated van, dropside truck, and wing van - remains the largest contributor to this segment with 3,860 in sales equivalent to a 64 percent growth year-to-date.

Sales in the PC segment decreased by 15.4 percent to 10,565 year-to-date July as the market continues to shift to crossovers and SUVs from midsized sedans. Despite this, the market remains strong for compact sedans as evidenced by sales of the Reina and the Accent which accounted for more than half the sales of the company for the period totaling 10,189 units.

The venerable Accent continues to be the company's No. 1 selling vehicle due to its styling, power, and fuel efficiency in a compact package. The CV segment continues to be a key growth driver with sales growing by 140 percent in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2018. CV sales hit 580 units driven by increased economic activity, especially from small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).

"We expect higher demand for Hyundai vehicles over the medium-term as we see lower inflation and interest rates. While others are taking a wait-and-see position, we are pushing ahead with our expansion programs which include the opening of three new dealerships in central and northern Luzon over the next few months," Agudo added


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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Aug 24, 2019
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