While 2021 wasn't exactly an ideal year for the automotive industry as the economy started to reopen, auto sales closed 2021 on a high.

Initially dampened by the safeguard bond on auto imports imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry, sales ended at 294,223 units, 18.56 percent higher than 2020 as banks began to open the coffers and approved auto loans during the last quarter rush. The increase is definitely a welcome one for an industry battered by the restrictions. 

But some things remained (somewhat) the same, and that's the best-selling car in the land.

At this point, it's probably no surprise that Toyota has again topped the top ten. The country's top-selling automaker occupied the top six slots and has a total of seven models on the list. Another thing that wouldn't surprise anyone is the car that sits at the top of the chart.

Here are the Philippines 10 best-selling cars of 2021 image

If you still haven't guessed it, that's the Toyota Vios. Last year, 35,095 units of the subcompact sedan were sold. It's a strong figure compared to the 25,290 units sold in 2020. The Toyota Hilux is still in second place with 18,969 sold. In third place is the Toyota Wigo with 17,491 finding new homes last year.

Here are the Philippines 10 best-selling cars of 2021 image

As demand for small basic cars for personal mobility grew, Wigo retained its position after overtaking the Innova in 2020, dropping the popular MPV in fourth place. Toyota still sold 13,304 units of the Innova. The Fortuner rushed up to the top five with 12,982 sold, just a few hundred units behind the Innova. As for the sixth spot, that's the Rush, selling 12,564 units last year.

Here are the Philippines 10 best-selling cars of 2021 image

Breaking the Toyota streak is the Mitsubishi Xpander at 11,342 units in seventh. That's a strong showing after dropping out last year. Falling three positions down to eighth is the Hiace at 10,273 units sold. In ninth is the 'immortal' Mitsubishi L300 with 10,147 units sold. The Navara carried the flag for Nissan as rounded up the top 10 with a tally of 9,882 units.

Here are the Philippines 10 best-selling cars of 2021 image

What dropped out of the top ten is the Ford Ranger. It was knocked off by the Mitsubishi Xpander, the same nameplate it knocked out the top 10 last year. While still far from the highs from 2019, last year's numbers are quite admirable considering how bad the auto industry suffered in the past two years. The Navara is the only member of the Top 10 that registered a total of under 10,000 units.

With an election ahead of us in a few months, a bullish outlook, new model introductions, more enthusiastic financial institutions, and no regulatory headwinds ahead, 2022 looks to be a bright year for auto sales.

We are hoping for more variation in the top though.