The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) posted 151% growth in Q1 2016 when compared to the same period last year. It brings the year-to-date sales tally to 21,160 units for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

Passenger car sales increased by 81% with 7,609 units sold in Q1 2016 versus the 4,205 units sold recorded in Q1 2015. Quarter-on-quarter figures also grew by 13%, led by Hyundai with 5,186 units sold. On to light commercial vehicles, the segment grew significantly, posting a growth of 220%. Also known as LCVs, 13,551 units were sold in Q1 2016 compared to the 4,229 units from the same period last year. In terms of quarter-on-quarter sales performance, the group picked up by 4% with Ford taking the largest share of this expansion.

The Philippines is expected to maintain its healthy economic track record on the back of sound macroeconomic fundamentals amidst the global economy slowdown. This positive outlook is supported by the upwardly adjusted forecast of debt watcher Standard & Poor’s (S&P) which raised its economic growth forecast for the Philippines for 2016 to 6% from 5.7%. However, exports are expected to be tilted on the downside as a result of the weak global demand.

Inflation picked up speed in March 2016 as it hit 1.1% from 0.9% logged on February 2016. This is driven by the increase in food prices due to El Nino and recovery of oil prices. The Central Bank, in response, keeps the interest rates unchanged. Given the attractive financing packages and upbeat Philippine economic prospects, the auto demand is poised to keep its upward trend in the coming months.