Driven by a robust economic outlook and introduction of new models, car sales in the Philippines en route to an all-time high of 370,000 units this year. In the latest joint report compiled by for the first nine months of 2016, cumulative sales totaled to 294,092 units, 27-percent higher than the same period last year.

Industry sales was dominated by the commercial vehicle segment, selling a total of 178,600 units which comprises AUVs, MPVs, SUVs, pick-up trucks, light commercial vehicles, vans, light and heavy trucks and buses. The rest comprised of 115,881 units of passenger cars.

While the rise in vehicle sales is no mystery as people find ways to mobilize themselves as they go about in the daily lives, what's surprising is the recent surge in demand for vans for both personal and commercial use.

While the appeal of SUVs is clear by now, considering prevalent road and weather conditions in the country’s metros. Vans, on the other hand, offer a unique appeal to the public, not the least in terms of public transportation. On the personal side, vans are adequate as executive vehicles, and preferred by many as the ideal family vehicle.

This versatility and utility has resulted in fierce competition in the van segment, with automotive brands mounting their distinct strategies to capture market share.

Now on its 10th year in the market, Foton offers four vans of varying shapes, sizes and capacities, they are the: Toano, View Traveller, View TransVan, and Gratour.

First debuted at the Foton Big Show in 2015, the Toano is an executive-class van that easily seats 11 in captain-style chairs. Foton offered a even high-end variant featuring a nautically-inspired interior at the last Philippine International Motor Show.

Foton also offers the View Traveller and View TransVan for customers looking for versatile and affordable standard-sized vans which offer comfort and seating capacity.

The Gratour model meanwhile offers compact 7-seat capacity at a price point within reach as it aims to be a stalwart in the entry-level people mover market.

Built on Foton's brand reliability, engine efficiency, their four van offerings cater well to both emerging transport businesses and big Filipino households.

As the government mulls solutions to mass public transportation and traffic woes, vans may be a viable answer that has surprisingly long-term implications.