One of the country’s leading automotive companies, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the Philippines, reported sales of 9,949 units in the first quarter of 2019. This represents a substantial increase of 12.5 percent versus sales of 8,847 units for the same period last year.
For March 2019 alone, HARI sold 3,412 units or a six-percent increase from March 2018.
“HARI sustained its growth momentum in the first quarter driven by the successful introduction of fresh and innovative models such as the Reina at the start of the year and a more positive buying sentiment from consumers. We are well-poised to continue this upward trend over the next three quarters as we recently unveiled pioneering vehicles at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS),” HARI President and CEO Maria Fe Perez-Agudo said.
To the delight of the largest crowd ever at MIAS of over 140,000 visitors, HARI introduced the much-awaited, first-ever full-size SUV of Hyundai, the Hyundai Palisade, winner of the prestigious Red Dot Award 2019 for exceptional design topping the category for “Product Design–Cars and Motorcycles.” The Palisade was recognized for its refined visual design breakthroughs, while featuring state-of-the-art technology and safety features.
In the same event, HARI also launched the first fully-electric vehicle in the Philippines, the Hyundai Kona EV. The crossover Kona has received nods as Best EV from highly-respected global motoring bodies, like the 2019 Wards Auto Competition, the 2019 Edmunds Editor’s Choice Awards, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and Car and Driver.
Hyundai’s Passenger Car (PC) segment sold 5,404 units for the first quarter. The segment’s growth slackened by 12.9 percent. Net of sales of models phased out in 2018 (i.e. Eon), PC sales actually increased by over 22 percent. Hyundai remains confident that the release of the all-new Hyundai Accent and especially the new Queen of the Road, the Hyundai Reina, will reinvigorate and maintain its position as the brand’s main volume drivers for PC. Barely three months after its launch, the Reina has already contributed nearly 16 percent of Hyundai’s total 1st quarter sales.
The Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment continues to be the bright spot in the industry, significantly increasing by 70.5 percent, or 4,306 units in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the 2,526 units sold in the same period of the previous year. A large portion of this growth can be attributed to strong demand for the Hyundai Kona crossover, which now accounts for 24 percent of HARI’s LCV business, and the versatile Hyundai H-100 which contributes 44 percent.
Driving the ascent of Philippine business is Hyundai’s Trucks and Buses which closely mirrors the build-up in economic activity as a result of the government’s infrastructure program. HARI’s Commercial Vehicle (CV) business more than doubled over the period, growing by 106 percent. Hyundai plans to make its high-quality CVs more accessible with the construction of seven additional dedicated CV dealerships across the country on top of the six fully operational ones in major growth areas.
In view of the exemplary sales performance of Hyundai Commercial Vehicles in the Philippines last year, HARI was recognized by Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) as the Top Regional Distributor of Commercial Vehicles for 2018 in the Asia-Pacific, Russia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), besting 25 other countries in the region.
HARI is likewise serious about making its mark in Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) as part of its focused efforts to bring Hyundai’s premium eco-friendly PC models to the mainstream, in response to the ever-growing concern about climate change. HARI introduced the Ioniq Hybrid last April 2018. The Ioniq is the first vehicle in the world to be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric variants. This was followed by the launch of the Kona EV and the Ioniq EV a year later at MIAS 2019.
“Electric vehicles are the future of motorization. We are here, we are ready, and we’re thrilled to take the Philippines to the future. Hyundai is prepared to be a driving force in this new and exciting space. We believe in doing business right, and these plans, along with our ongoing operations, will boost the competitiveness and overall sustainability of our country in the years to come,” Perez-Agudo concluded.