Philippine auto sales totalled 97,054 vehicles in the first quarter of 2018, based on the latest figures consolidated from distributor groups AVID (Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors), CAMPI (Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines) and TMA (Truck Manufacturers Association).

Coming hot on the heels of the best year in sales for the Philippine auto industry, 2018 Q1 sales slowed down by 7.62% as higher excise taxes on cars and light commercial vehicles started taking impact on new inventories of car dealers. Signed in late 2017, the newly imposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law reduced personal income taxes but levied additional taxes on selected vehicles, which significantly affected auto prices. It however lowered levies on hybrid vehicles and exempted pickups, trucks and electric vehicles.

In the short term, the TRAIN law has indeed affected sales as buyers advanced purchases before the implementation of the new excise taxes. The exemptions and lowered levies are expected to change automaker strategies and eventually shift consumer preference for favorably priced models such as pick up trucks and hybrid and electric cars in the long term.

2018 Q1 sales page 2

Still continuing its domination is Toyota, which covers 35.49% of the market with 34,440 units sold, Mitsubishi comes in second with a 20.15% share selling 19,554 units. Hyundai is in third with 8,731 units, equivalent to 9% market share. Ford comes in at 4th with 6,448 units for a 6.66% market share. Honda placed in 5th with 6,180 units sold or 6.37%; Nissan sold 6,180 units covering 5.96% of the market in 6th; Suzuki sold 4,917 units for 5.07% of the market in 7th; while Isuzu falls down the order to close the Top 8 with 3,796 units getting 3.91% of the market.

The commercial vehicle segment still took the bigger chunk of sales with 63.1%, while passenger vehicle segment covered the remaining 36.9%. Both major industry organizations AVID and CAMPI have expressed their confidence in the Philippine market as more vehicle sales still expected to continue to grow.

"We are still optimistic about the market this year as our member brands are set to introduce new and exciting models in the coming months and we expect our biennial Philippine Motor Show is expected to energize the market this year," said Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI president.

"Despite given market challenges, we remain resolute that the stabilizing market condition and the influx of new products and services will serve as ample boost as we wind-up for a stronger 2018," said Ms. Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, AVID president.