2018 was a touchy time for the automotive sector, with many experiencing lower sales following the implementation of the excise tax. But 2019 is starting to look brighter for some, and one of them is Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country.

During the first quarter of the year, sales have increased by 12.5 percent. For March 2019 alone, the company has posted a sales upturn of six percent compared to March 2018 figures. By the looks of things, Hyundai Philippines is on the path to recovery.

Can you guess what is Hyundai 

In the passenger car (PC) segment Hyundai did say that they lost some sales in that segment. However, it's the Reina that's been helping sales for the passenger car segment brand, accounting for 16 percent of their total vehicle sales. But as impressive as that sounds, it is not their best-selling car in the range. That honor belongs to the Accent, which is still Hyundai Philippines' top-selling passenger car.

As for the LCV segment, it's the Kona subcompact crossover that's been their rising star in their lineup. Since its launch, it has captured almost a quarter of HARI's LCV sales. So far, the Kona has seen a little over 1,000 sales since it was launched mid-2018. But it's the H-100 that's still their top-selling LCV at 44 percent.

Can you guess what is Hyundai 

All in all, HARI has shifted 9,949 units during the first quarter of 2019. The sales mix consists of 5,404 passenger cars, 4,306 light commercial vehicles, and 239 commercial vehicles. Their top five sellers are the Accent (3,551 units), H-100 (1,901 units), Reina (1,576 units), and Kona (1,043 units). It is worth pointing out that HARI has also sold five Ioniq hybrids in the first quarter of the year, three of which were sold in March.