There's no denying that year to date sales in 2018 are down from 2017's figures. The excise tax and rising fuel costs are some of the factors as to why sales are lower than they were from last year. However, that isn't dampening the mood of Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. president, Atty. Rommel Gutierrez.

In fact, he's optimistic as to what 2019 will bring for the local motoring industry. Atty. Gutierrez's outlook for 2019 sees more confidence in customers, as well as the government slowly heeding to consumer's calls to lessen the impact of the excise tax. He adds that, in the past couple of months, auto sales have been picking up again, hence his optimism.

He believes that, with vehicle pricing now more or less settled, consumers have adjusted to the new SRPs, and those looking to buy a new car in the coming months have also adjusted for their next purchase.

Granted, he said that the 500,000 unit sales cannot be achieved in 2019 but he added that, come 2020, that figure will be more realistic. A few years ago, Atty. Gutierrez and CAMPI projected that the industry would be able to reach an volume of 500,000 units by 2020.

Last year, total vehicle sales totaled to 473,943 units. But given this year's numbers so far, 2018 figures will not be able to match that of 2017. Still, there are some bright spots in motoring when it comes to sales. The commercial vehicle market still rakes in the numbers, thanks in part to the tax breaks on pickup trucks. Sales also went up back in May, 19.7 percent higher than February's. It went down again in the subsequent months but August also proved to be a good period for the motoring industry, with sales picking up again.