The automobile market in the Philippines is one where a lot of the models are imported. Yes, there are models that are made here like the Vios, Mirage, Innova, and a few others, but the truth is that most of the nameplates being offered by automakers are completely-built unit (or CBU) imports.

In the last 10 or so years, the majority of the imports came from Thailand. The Detroit of Asia is where a lot of automakers and parts suppliers have set up their regional manufacturing hubs to take advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Area.

But while Thailand still does supply a good number of models to the Philippine market and the rest of ASEAN, Indonesia is gradually building up its volume too. Based on official numbers reported to the major auto industry association of Indonesia, we can see just how many vehicles were sent by our neighbor in the south and into our ports and showrooms.

GAIKINDO (the Indonesian counterpart to CAMPI/AVID) reports that a total of about 64,363 units were exported to the Philippines in 2021. The total includes reports from a variety of brands producing models in Indonesia, and all of these are Japanese automakers. The only caveat with the total number is that it is incomplete because one automaker in Indonesia did not report their export numbers to GAIKINDO, and that is Isuzu with regards to the Traga; in the Philippines, that model is known as the Traviz.

Thai Indo image

Based on the data, Hino Philippines imported a total of 1,725 units of the Dutro; in the local market, we know that as the 300 series. Honda Cars Philippines Inc. also imported a total of 3,090 units of the Brio. Mitsubishi imported 9,493 units of the Xpander, but we have a feeling that the number may include the Xpander Cross as well, given that the Xpander MPV and Xpander Cross SUV are too similar to split up.

Suzuki Philippines imports 4 different model nameplates from Indonesia, namely the APV (yes, it's still selling here), the Carry utility truck, the Ertiga, and the XL7; Suzuki split the model lines for the report. While it would be expected that the Ertiga and XL7 would command the majority of Suzuki's total of 7,000 units imported from Indonesia, it is actually the Carry that makes up the bulk with 4,584 units.

Thai Indo image

Of course, it is Toyota that imported the most vehicles from Indonesia out of all of the automakers in 2021. Of the total 64,363 units imported last year, 43,055 have the T emblem on the grille. The bulk of that number is comprised of three models that all exceeded 10,000: the Wigo (AKA: Ayla) accounted for 15,364 units, the Fortuner is in second with 11,393 units, and the Rush is in third at 10,445 units imported. As a testament to the popularity of the Rush, only 3,530 units of the Avanza were imported, though Toyota is prepping for an all-new model which would mean they were limiting their imports.

There are also some things we can notice in the import, and that's the presence of 1,043 units of Innova that were imported by Toyota. We produce it here, so it's odd that there were units imported; perhaps it was a special edition model. We'll have to check. The other is that the Raize was already reported in the numbers in December 2021. It seems Toyota already imported 1,280 units last month in preparation for the launch next month.

The last thing we can point out is the pattern of low export numbers in the middle of 2021. There are months where automakers noted a sharp decline in export figures sometime from May to June. This can probably be attributed to the production stoppages caused by the parts and semiconductor shortage.