Philippine auto sales opened 2018 on an optimistic mood with 31,645 units, as reported by members of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

January comes on the heels of a new excise tax table brought about by the TRAIN (tax reform) law enacted in December. Despite this, the industry was able to record a 4% gain to set a new January sales record. Industry members sold 1,220 units more than last year's 30,425 figure.

Leading the gains were the Commercial Vehicle segment with 12.4% as the Passenger Car segment reflected a 10.9% decline. 

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Passenger car (PC) sales totaled 9,790 units, covering 30.94% of the market. Commercial vehicles (CV) continued to dominate the market at 21,855 units or 69.06% of the market.

“We started the year with a modest growth of 4% in January 2018 against the same period last year. While this is considerably low compared to the growth rate of January 2017 (27% up versus January 2016), we still consider January 2018 sales as satisfactory and a good start for the auto industry. We will continue our efforts in sustaining the growth momentum of past years”, said CAMPI president Atty. Rommel Gutierrez. 

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) led the CV subsegments, comprising 69.63% of CV sales with 15,218 units sold; 23.3% more than last year's 12,340 total. AUV/MPV segment sold 5,811 units, down 3.1% from 6,026. Truck and bus sales were mostly down. Light truck sales dropped 38.7%, selling a total of 386 units compared to previous year's 630 unit total. Category 4 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus sales totaled 299 units (+9.9%) compared to last year's 272 units. Category 5 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus slid down to 141 units, (-18.5%) compared to last year's 173 units.

Sales performance were mostly positive for most brands. The top 3 advancers*: Suzuki (SPI) surged by 39.8%, Mitsubishi (MMPC) sales went up by 36.7%; Nissan (NPI) increased by 20.6%. Top three decliners* were Kia (CAC) with a 51.6% drop, continuing its downward trend from last year; Hino (HMPC) with a 16.3% decline, and Toyota (TMP) down by 9.1%.

*only brands selling more than 100 units per month were included.

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

1. Toyota – 13,217 units (47.8% market share)

2. Mitsubishi – 6,757 units (21.35% market share)

3. Ford – 2,737 units (8.65% market share)

4. Honda– 2,126 units (6.72% market share)

5. Nissan– 2,000 units (6.32% market share) 

Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation continues its commanding lead of the market with 47.8-percent. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation follows in second with 21.35-percent. Ford Motor Company Philippines, Inc. remains in third with 8.65-percent. Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is in fourth position with 6.72-percent, and Nissan Philippines, Inc. in fifth with 6.32-percent.