Vitara, Ertiga, and Celerio Drive Suzuki PH's Growth in Q1 2018
The implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law this year brought some headache in the Philippine automotive industry. Numbers don't lie as it shows a decline in vehicle sales in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018 as compared to 2017. The unit sales of brand new cars plunged to 8.5 percent in Q1 2018 with 86,037 units sold, which is around 8,000 units lower compared to Q1 2017. This is according to a joint report released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA). Despite the slow-down in the local new car sales, Suzuki Philippines managed to weather the storm by registering a growth of 21.4 percent in Q1 2018. The company also managed to improve its ranking in the Philippine market as it now currently sits in sixth place. Suzuki Philippines is behind Nissan and Honda while Ford, Mitsubishi, and Toyota are currently the top 3 brands in the local market. How did Suzuki Philippines accomplish this feat? Well, it is as simple as strategically retaining its 2017 price list for a certain period in Q1 2018. Moreover, Suzuki Philippines launched the all-new Vitara late last year. "We were prudent with our marketing efforts for the first quarter of the year because we anticipated developments in the business landscape as a result partly of the TRAIN Law and of course other factors," shared Suzuki Philippines Vice President and Automobile Division General Manager Shuzo Hoshikura. Suzuki Philippines claims the Ertiga, Celerio, and Vitara contributed to its positive sales performance in Q1 2018. These models accounted for 58 percent of the company's unit sales from January to March 2018. Among the three vehicles, the Suzuki Ertiga continues to be the company's best-selling model with 33 percent share of sales. The Suzuki Celerio is the second best-selling model of Suzuki Philippines at 13 percent while the all-new Suzuki Vitara accounts for 12 percent.