Local auto sales for the first four months of the year resulted with a strong 37.4% growth compared to 2009. Monthly sales for the period averaged at 13,240.75 against only 9,637.75 for the same period in the previous year.

"Strong growth thus far has been supported by the slew of new model introductions by auto players coupled with aggressive financing packages available making the purchase of a vehicles more accessible and affordable for a larger group of consumers," says Ms. Lee.

Total auto industry sales reached 52,963 vehicles for the first four months. Passenger Cars grew by 37.4% selling 17,667 units with Commercial Vehicles again dominating overall sales nationwide with a whopping 42.4% growth selling 35,296 units.

Sales for the month of April totaled to 14,254; a significant jump vs the same month in 2009 with a 42.7% increase. Although the delay in deliveries have resulted in an almost flat with a slight decline of less than a percent (-0.8%) compared to previous month.

"Although higher growth was expected for 2010, the stronger than expected high double-digit growth sustained in the first four months of the year was a welcome result. This however, did result in some delay in deliveries to supply the strong demand due to lack of stocks" says Ms. Elizabeth H. Lee, CAMPI President.

Total vehicle sales are still dominated by Commercial Vehicles with a 66.6% share of total sales nationwide. This is comprised of Light Commercial Vehicles which sold 53.4% more vehicles this year for a total of 23,101 units (65.4% of CV sales). Meantime AUV sales resulted to 11,493 units reflecting a strong growth of 29.9% vs the same period last year. However, sales of light trucks in April 2010 decreased by 29.2% compared to the previous month while the year on year sales also declined by 25.9% due to limited stocks and a shifting customers preference.

"We are thankful for the stronger than expected high double-digit growth thus far and are hopeful that the growth momentum can be sustained should the factors that affect vehicle sales remain positive. Factors that support vehicle sales include continued consumer and business confidence, manageable inflation rate (3.5% to 5.5% per BSP), sustained aggressive OFW remittances that fuel consumption coupled with an equally healthy and aggressive financing environment. These factors also support the continued growth of the entrepreneurial trend that benefits the auto industry. And of course, a relatively peaceful election," says Ms. Lee.

"Expectations remain positive. We plan to adjust our forecast for the year accordingly, after the May elections," she adds.