Philippine auto industry needs to adapt in order to survive

Jun 05, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates
Local car brands should invest more in digital platforms.

You can’t deny that it’s hard to have a positive outlook with all of the things happening right now. The year 2020 has been and looks to remain tough all throughout.

The Philippines is absorbing blows that seem to be faster and more powerful as compared to the punches that made Manny Pacquiao a boxing legend. 

The Philippine automotive market is among the many industries that received a huge deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quarantine measures, specifically in the National Capital Region, brought upon limited movement, strict social distancing protocols, and job insecurity. As such, the demand for brand-new cars is subsequently low. 

EDSA Traffic

The Philippine automotive industry is facing a huge challenge [Photo source: patrickroque001] 

Fitch Solutions, a global market insights company, reported that the estimated brand-new unit sales in 2020 will be 371,456 units, which is 11 percent lower as compared to 2019.

That’s not surprising since the buying power of many Filipinos will decrease and budget allocation of every individual will be placed on other things that are deemed more essential during this sudden change in lifestyle.

Indeed, the Philippine automotive industry is facing a huge challenge considering the country’s current situation. But it’s not yet the end and we need to remain hopeful that the situation will get better soon.

Yes, the local, as well as the global automotive industry, is on a downward spiral however that doesn’t mean that it can’t bounce back, right?

>>> Related: Car sales down by 40% in Southeast Asia – the biggest drop in a decade 

Digital Showroom

Car Brands in the Philippines need to go digital

The Philippine car market needs to adapt in order to survive this tough year. It’s a no brainer. Car brands need to go digital and further improve their respective websites in order to provide interested individuals an easy, safe, and more convenient way of knowing their product lineup.

We’re already seeing a number of car brands in the Philippines that are shifting its approach to reach its potential clients. Recently, BMW PH launched its new digital showroom to bring its brand closer to the people. 

A study conducted by Visa last 2015 showed that Filipino consumers shopped online for the following reasons: convenience (58 percent), better prices (47 percent), and exclusive online deals (46 percent).

With that in mind, online shopping is a strategy that local car brands should invest and capitalize in order to help the Philippine automotive market survive and bounce back. 

Traditional car showroom

A visit to a traditional showroom might still provide some health risks

>>> Related: Should car companies start offering 0% financing, deferred payments?

You might argue that online shopping is a platform for industries such as electronics/gadgets, fashion, and personal care products. That idea is correct but car brands need to adapt especially during this tough time.

Moreover, the way society functions after the coronavirus pandemic will never be the same. A visit to a traditional showroom might still provide some health risks.

As such, shifting to a digital/online platform is an idea worth considering for car brands in the Philippines because it gives consumers convenience and a safer way of buying cars.

Philkotse.com is an online automotive platform that offers brand-new and second-hand cars. It provides individuals a convenient way of finding their next car at the comfort of their home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way we live. All of us need to adjust and refocus our approach. Shifting to a digital platform is one of the things that will help the Philippine automotive industry to bounce back and rise above the coronavirus aftermath.

We need to stay strong, be resilient more than ever, and adapt in order to survive.

Author

Martin Aguilar

Martin is a B.A. English Studies-Literature graduate from the University of the Philippines and the Content Editor of Philkotse. Aside from his interest in cars, he loves to read crime-thriller novels, play basketball (note: video game only), eat tapsilog, and go for random road trip adventures.