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MORE CARS, MORE WORRIES

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita, Reporter September 24,2018 - 12:14 AM

Bumper-to-bumper traffic in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City. / CDN file photo

ALONG with Cebu’s growing economy comes an increase in the purchasing power of its people.

With cheaper down payment and monthly payment schemes offered by banks, more Cebuanos are now buying cars.

Gateway Motors Cebu Inc., the largest multi-brand car dealership in Cebu, has seen a substantial increase in their car sales over the last five years.

Gateway Executive Vice President Michael Goho said that demand has opened up further to a broader market, now catering to younger client profiles such as fresh graduates and call center workers.

“This would not have been possible even ten years ago. This is due to more support from banks, more flexibility in financing schemes, and more choices for clients with more compact and affordable car models in the market today,” he said.

Gateway Motors is the local distributor of car brands including Kia, Nissan, Suzuki, BMW, and Peugeot.

Practicality, affordability and design are among the main considerations cited by customers when buying a car, he said.

“Our car sales have been steadily increasing. Although there are some months where the increase in sales is not as high, but that is normal in the car industry, there are periods of fluctuation,” he said.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) listed around 800,000 vehicles in Central Visayas. In 2012, the number was around 715,000.

But the increase in the number of vehicles on the streets has resulted to more problems.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Vice President for External Affairs Steven Yu said that aside from transportation infrastructure woes, car drivers themselves cause much of the problem.

“The attitude of our drivers needs refinement. We should strictly implement testing of drivers before releasing any license,” he suggested.

Illegal parking has also become prevalent, he said.

Yu pointed out that while in other countries, vehicle owners are required to own a parking space; in the Philippines, many people park their cars on public roads making the streets almost impassable.

Yu added that while local government units and the LTO have better traffic management over the years, there is still room for improvement.

He cited the lack of equipment to remove heavy trucks involved in accidents which immediately causes a traffic gridlock.

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TAGS: BMW, Kia, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MCCI, Nissan, Steven Yu, Suzuki

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