Starting off 2017 strong in January with 30,425 vehicles sold, Philippine auto sales remain positive despite a looming excise tax crisis which may double the prices of some popular vehicle models.

The figure is the best performing January ever based on the latest report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA). It also represented a 27.8% gain against the previous year's 23,808 unit total.

The gains were significantly present in nearly all segments as both Passenger Car and Commercial Vehicle segments experienced similar percentage gains, 27.2% and 28.1%, respectively.

Passenger car (PC) sales totaled 10,984 units, covering 36.1% of the market. Commercial vehicles continued to dominate the market at 19,441 units or 63.9% of the market.

The Commercial Vehicle sub-segments were still led by Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), comprising 63.47% of CV sales with 12,340 units sold; 27.5% higher compared to the last year's 9,678 total. AUV/MPV sales were also upbeat at 6,026 units, growing 26.1% compared to 4,780 last year. Truck sales continue to be brisk with more companies investing in brand new light duty to heavy trucks and buses. Light truck sales gained 60.7%, selling a total of 630 units compared to the previous year's 392 unit total. Category 4 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus sales totaled 272 units (+74.4%) compared to last year's 156 units. Category 5 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus bucked the trend with 173 units sold, (+1.8%) compared to last year's 170 units.

The top five performing manufacturers for the month of January are:

1. Toyota – 14,542 units (47.8% market share)

2. Mitsubishi – 4,942 units (16.24% market share)

3. Ford – 2,519 units (8.28% market share)

4. Honda – 2,185 units (7.18% market share)

5. Nissan – 1,659 units (5.45% market share)

"Although we expected lower sales due to seasonality, reaching 30,000-unit level in January is a good start for the auto industry.  We welcome appropriate measures that will not hamper the growth of the auto industry as it continues to positively contribute to the economy," said Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI president.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation continues its commanding lead of the market with 47.8-percent. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation follows in second with 16.24-percent. Ford Motor Company Philippines, Inc. remains in third with 8.28-percent. Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is in fourth position with 7.18-percent, with Nissan Philippines, Inc. finally making its way to the top five with 5.45-percent.