Philippine auto industry up 18.42% in 2021 as economy starts road to recovery

Initially forecasted as a strong recovery year, 2021 saw the Philippine auto industry slightly regain momentum as auto sales amounted to 293,891 units. This is based on consolidated reports from the three major automotive associations: CAMPI, TMA, and AVID.

The 2021 annual total was up despite having to hurdle a rather difficult start as the DTI imposed the controversial safeguard bond measure. The industry sold 45,720 more units compared to the previous year's 248,171 units, an 18.42% uptick from a disastrous year brought about by a global pandemic that wreaked havoc on the global auto industry. Another stumbling block in 2021 was the global semiconductor shortage which heavily affected the auto industry causing production stoppages and delivery delays.

2021 Philippine auto sales at 293,891 units, up 18.42% image

Commercial vehicles (which include SUVs, MPVs, pick-ups, crossovers, trucks, and buses) remain the driving force of the industry with a 66.93% share of the market, registering 196,712 units; passenger car sales totaled 97,179 units to take the remaining 33.07%. It is noteworthy that passenger car sales fared better in 2021, accelerating by 22.95% versus commercial vehicles, which improved by 16.3%.

Compared with our regional neighbors, the Philippines, along with Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam posted gains in 2021. Indonesia posted a staggering 66.8% gain, while Singapore and Vietnam posted single-digit percentage gains. Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, reported slight negative movements in their 2021 auto sales totals.

"Looking back at last year’s performance, the automotive industry has remained remarkably resilient with an overall growth of 20% compared with the same performance a year ago - that is no small feat indeed,” said Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI president.

2021 Philippine auto sales at 293,891 units, up 18.42% image

Top 5 Brands

Toyota remains ahead with a commanding lead in the market with a 43.93% market share with 129,101 units sold. Toyota sales grew 29.69% from the previous year's 99,545 units. 

Mitsubishi Motors remains second with 37,548 units with a 12.78% market share. MMPC logged a very minimal 0.49% increase compared to last year's 37,366 units sold. 2021 saw Mitsubishi put a brief stop to three consecutive years of sales decline.

Ford surged to third overall in 2021 from sixth in the previous year, with a total of 20,005 units with a 6.81% market share. The American automaker’s sales increased 35.39% compared to the previous year's 14,775 figure.

Nissan slid to fourth, getting a 6.67% market share selling 19,603 units, 9.88% less than the previous year’s 21,751 units; its second consecutive year of decline.

Suzuki stays fifth with 19,393 units sold, representing 6.6% of the market. Suzuki registered a 24.99% hike against 15,515 units sold in 2020.

2021 Philippine auto sales at 294,223 units, up 18.56% image


Isuzu improved its standing to sixth with a 28.33% increase in sales; the company sold only 14,424 units against 11,240 units during the previous year. Strong demand for its business-oriented vehicles has continued to drive the brand ahead, allowing Isuzu to capture 4.9% of the market.

Honda stayed seventh with 12,680 units sold for 4.31% of the market, it improved by 8.27% against 2020’s 11,711 unit total.

Hyundai fell down to eighth with 9,061 units sold with a 3.08% market share with a sharp 44.57% decline year-on-year against a 16,346 unit total. The Korean brand failed to recover after falling 50.68% in 2020.

MG reported sales of 6,343 units in 2021 to keep the 9th overall spot, on its third full year in the market. Their sales surged by 84.82% compared to the previous 3,432 total. MG volume was 2.16% of the total volume last year.

Geely finds itself in the Top 10 with 6,104 units sold, 2.07% of the market; the Chinese brand outperformed the market with a 182.85% rally compared to the previous year's 2,158 total.

DO NOT TOUCH 2021 Philippine auto sales up image

"You cannot downplay the importance of mobility in the reopening of the economy, gradual though it may be," said Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, AVID president.

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Top 3 Premium Brands

BMW remained on top of the premium segment, with sales totaling 861 units, a surge of 40.92% with a 0.29% share of the total market.

Lexus continued to improve on its performance and advanced to 2nd with 568 units, with a mere 2-unit advantage over Mercedes-Benz in third. The LM 350 minivan continued to drive sales for the Japanese luxury marque.

Mercedes-Benz placed third with 566 passenger vehicles sold against 2020’s 579 units, a relatively flat 2.25% decline.

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Top 5 Truck Brands

Isuzu remained the top seller with 4,427 units sold in the Light Truck (Cat III), Category IV Truck/Bus, and Category V Truck/Bus sub-segments. Isuzu continues to lead Cat III, Cat IV, and Cat V segments with a 19.42% increase in sales.

Hino stays second with a 2,729 cumulative total, recovering by 23.26%. Foton remained in third with 1,575 units, gaining 26.20%. Hyundai Truck & Bus moves up to fourth with 936 units, a 206.89% increase. Fuso rounds up the top five with 888 units sold, a 7.25% increase from the previous year.


Key Movers in 2021

Geely grew by a staggering 182.85% as it sold 6,104 units in 2021.

Auto Nation Group's Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands also saw massive gains last year, selling 721 units in total; a 140.33% hike.

The premium segment saw further gains as affluent car buyers addressed their wants with new car purchases. BMW posted a strong 40.92% gain, selling 861 vehicles. Jaguar-Land Rover saw a 57.47% sales spike, moving 274 units out of their showroom.

While three have been a significant number of super sports cars on the road, it has to be noted that the strong gray market continues to outsell official importers. Ferrari reported a mere 5 units sold, while McLaren only made 2 official deliveries.

AC Motors brands Kia and Volkswagen saw significant gains in 2021, VW jumped 149.15% as they introduced the Multivan and T-Cross, both global nameplates. Kia's sales volume surged by 76.05%.

Chevrolet made a comeback with an 826 unit sales total, a 64.21% increase, while distributor TCCCI was able to address their lineup woes with the new Tracker and Trailblazer crossovers; most of its volume came from runouts of the Colorado pickup and Trailblazer PPV. Its local sister brand MG further improved its market presence with an 84.82% growth.

Hyundai had the worst year as it saw sales drop 44.57% compared to 2020. Rumors have been going around that the brand's South Korean principal will soon be taking the reins of the brand locally.

BAIC officially closed for business with 33 units sold in 2021, we weren't wrong when we surmised they wouldn't be in business anymore. Their former flagship showroom in Makati is now a Geely dealership.

The industry remains optimistic for 2022 as restrictions continue to ease up, which is expected to result in increased economic activity as well as more spending due to the elections in May.


“The industry remains optimistic for a continued recovery this year from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn as progress on inoculation has provided hopes for a better outlook for the wider economy, but ‘business as usual’ is still unlikely as challenges remain at hand.” Atty. Gutierrez added.

“With unwavering confidence in the market and in the quality of our product and service offerings, AVID members are determined to build on these gains and look forward to an even better normal in 2022,” Agudo added.

Changan, Chery, Maserati, and PGA Cars brands Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche declined to release their 2021 sales figures; and are not included in the total volume.