According to the recently released industry sales report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, the domestic auto sales has continued the strong growth seen in 2010, with an increase of 8.2% for the first quarter compared to the same time period last year. The singular month of March showed robust increase in sales of over 20% over February, setting a positive signal and a good start of the year.

The industry sold a total of 36,293 units for the first quarter, with 13,775 units just for the month of March. Passenger Car (PC) sales grew by 11.3% with 12,426 units sold while Commercial Vehicles (CV) grew by 6.7% with 23,867 units sold. CVs continue to dominate overall sales with a 66% market share.

According to the report from CAMPI, assuming the effects on the auto industry by the recent earthquake in Japan can be minimized as soon as possible, CAMPI expects the strong industry trend to continue.

So far, the local Japanese brands have ample supply from existing inventories to supply market demand. While some Japanese manufacturing plants are beginning to resume operations, other plants, including some suppliers of parts and components, are still working on resumption of operations. Furthermore, CAMPI also states that logistics have become hampered which can result in delays in the delivery of parts and vehicles. Currently, vehicles are available for sale given inventories on hand. CAMPI is hopeful that the situation will improve soon to help stem any shortage that may arise.