Laus Group of Companies Chairman Lisset Laus-Velasco is optimistic about the growth of the automotive industry particularly in the countryside amid the economic disruptions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The industry has shifted — before the share of market of NCR versus the provincial is actually 60-40. Now it’s changed drastically, now the provincial shares account more than 60 percent of the total market and only NCR at 40 percent. Baligtad, so the growth is actually outside Metro Manila and it’s in the countryside,” according to Laus-Velasco.
Laus-Velasco echoed the views of his late father Levy Laus who had been pushing for the economic development of the countryside. Levy Laus has always said that he is “promdi” (from the province) at heart.
“And this is what our father had mentioned long time ago. Sinabi niya that there is growth in the countryside and he really wanted to espouse that growth. And true enough, during this pandemic, yun ang nangyayari. So we are quite lucky, sabi ko nga it’s a blessing that we are in this situation but the situation has caused a lot of opportunities and growth in this area,” said Laus-Velasco.
“So parang blessed tayo lahat. Yun lang ang tingin ko sa sitwasyon na ito,” according to Laus-Velasco.
When asked about vehicle sales, Laus-Velasco said: “Vehicle sales is not the same as before. We know the challenges of vehicle sale, there’s so many reasons behind it and it’s not about the sales itself.” “Inquiries had been the same, medyo mabagal as far as deliveries is concerned because there are steps in vehicle sales especially we also have partners.”
Laus-Velasco said at least 25 percent of vehicle sales had been affected “predominantly outside Metro Manila.” “The growth is not yet there it’s unfortunate that one of the industries affected is automotive as well as tourism.”
Laus-Velasco, however, said “there is a bright side as well with the release of the Bayanihan Act 2, I guessed you had seen they appropriated budgets for LandBank and DBP and they would be using this for local governments and there were already local governments that actually applied for loans or vehicles probably to support their areas.”
“The government had been doing something to keep the economy go back to where it is so it’s not gonna be a fast recovery . It will take a while.”
The LGC has around 2,000 employees and during the lockdown period no retrenchment had been done. “We are making sure that our people are secure. No retrenchment as far as the Laus Group is concerned.”
“We have retained our employees from Day 1. And they had been sufficiently supported during the pandemic by the Laus Group.”
On Thursday, Laus-Velasco together with his brother LGC President Paul “Concon” Laus, partially delivered 245 vehicles to Converge ICT Solutions Founder and CEO Dennis Anthony H. Uy to support its expansion in the Luzon Island.