While auto markets in most countries continue to experience a drastic decline in auto sales, the local Philippine auto industry continues on its growth path with a 12% growth overall for first 9 months of the year compared to the same period last year.

September proved to be a better month than August, registering a 10.4% growth over the previous seasonally low 'ghost' month. Although fuel prices are higher relative to the same period last year, the recent decline in oil prices provided a respite for motorists and buyers alike. Oil prices have declined more than 30% against the high of over $140 per barrel of crude oil.

The industry sold a total of 10,937 units for the month of September- still higher than the 2007 average of about 9800 units per month. Commercial Vehicles (CV) continue to dominate the market with a 64% market share to total vehicles bought by Filipinos nationwide. Players have started to rev up exciting promotions in preparation for the festive months ahead.

Recent model launches have likewise helped boost sales. Buyers can take advantage of remaining limited vehicle inventories with lower prices (while supplies last) while players slowly start to increase car prices reflective of the higher global raw material and logistics costs. Increases in car prices have been held off since early this year. So far, the industry is on target to reach the forecast of 125,000 units for 2008.

With CVs continuing to dominate the market with a 64% market share,
CV YTD sales continued to be strong with a growth of 10.5% compared to Jan-September 2007. Month on month (September vs August 2008), increase was posted at 13.1%. Fleet sales deliveries, timely stock arrivals and new models introduced helped boost sales in the segment. Sales of the popular multi-use Vans, pick ups and AUVs remain the backbone of CV sales. It is forecasted that sales will continue to grow in the coming months with the bulk of purchases expected over the festive season.

MTD, AUV posted an increase of 6.9% compared to August 2008 due to stock availability. YTD sales continued to increase with an 8.3% growth compared to the same period last year (Jan-September 2007) due to consumer preference for multi-purpose vehicles.

The strongest singular segment growth is seen in the LCV segment with a 19.4% growth in September vs August. Overall LCV sales continue to be strong with a 12.9% growth overall year to date. LCV sales, with vans and pick ups in particular, reflect the sustained trend of the Filipino buyer's preference for multipurpose vehicles used for both personal and business use. Sales in the LCV segment, (pickups, vans, compact & full-
size SUVs) showed an overall growth of 12.9% compared to the same
period last year (Jan-September 2007). For the month of September 2008, sales of LCVs posted a 19.4% increase compared to August 2008 because of promos and new models introduced.