Of new year, new vehicles, worsening traffic in Cebu, excise tax, and hellos

By Carl Cabusas February 12,2018

WITH the dawn of the New Year, comes also exciting news from the motoring sector and not so good news from the tax collecting agency.

The New Year always brings a lot of hope; Hope for change, hope to start a clean slate, hope for a better country and economy.

The motoring industry exceeded its sales target in the last two quarters of 2017 with the looming implementation of the excise tax for motor vehicles (under TRAIN).

Buyers were eager, in a hurry to purchase their dream vehicles before they are slapped with a heavy tax add on. Fast forward, 2018, the final version of the excise tax for motor vehicles was approved and many were left shocked and confused as to how and why the new prices do not seem to follow projected price hike computation.

Some ended up being too expensive at certain price bracket, some high end vehicles dropped by more than P100k, pick-up trucks are untaxed and hybrid vehicles also became cheaper.

Moving forward, even with all the confusion, I hope that whatever tax collected from the motoring industry will go a long way in country building.

New Year also brings in hope for new car models to be launched and introduced in our market. Since the new excise tax for motor vehicle exempts pick-up trucks, half on hybrids and EVs, I would expect a surged in pick-up truck sales and hybrid vehicles.

This will also pave the way for car manufacturers to bring in new pick-up truck models to take advantage of the revised tax system for motor vehicles.
On the other hand, while I think that there will be an initial shock and market will tend to contract with the imposition of the new excise tax law, buyers will soon realize that this is the new normal.

When this happens, buyers will come to terms that the new prices are what they already are, it’s not going down anymore. When that happens, people will keep on buying their dream cars. The car industry may suffer a small blow this year, but I expect it to normalize as soon as new models are being introduced in our market to entice new buyers.

With every car sold and the industry hitting an all time high in sales target, where will all these new cars end up? Naturally, on our roads. While sales seems to increase on a monthly basis, number of roads seems to be on the opposite tip of the scale, hence the dreaded daily traffic.

As I see it, it’s already a combination of several factors that has lead us to this dilemma; volume of cars, lack of discipline on the road, lack of reliable mass transport system and lack of new diversionary roads.

This is, by the way, Carl Cabusas, your new motoring guy. Corporate guy by day, gear head in between coffee breaks.

Let me share with you some of the cars I would really like to see these coming months. The lists below are not in chronological order nor does it reflect my personal taste in vehicles;

1. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – It has already been launched in Malaysia with a 1.5L turbo engine and we are part of the ASEAN car community. I have a strong feeling that we are going to see this Crossover Coupe SUV very soon. We hope Mitsubishi Philippines keeps the 1.5L turbo mill for our market.

2. Ford F150 Pick-up truck – I know, I know … Ford has had problems lately. But if there is one truck in the Ford line-up that is really reliable, it would be the F150 badge. The all new version ditched the V8 mill and replaced it with a smaller 3.5L V6, Ecoboost (turbo) engine. Same V8 power, lesser weight and lower fuel consumption.

3. 2018 Ford Ranger (American version) – Let’s admit it, Filipinos love diesel engines. Yes diesel fuel is far cheaper than gas, but gasoline feed engines with turbos is as economical to run and are as powerful as diesel engines. Best thing is, it’s smoother in acceleration and quieter overall compared to the diesel version. That newly built 10 speed transmission is also sweet and I’m sure has none of the issues of the current model.

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