AUTOMOTIVE sales jumped past 352,000 last year, with units sold breaching the industry’s target on the back of surging demand, data from vehicle manufacturing groups show.

In a joint report released on Wednesday, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said that January-to-December 2022 vehicle sales reached 352,596 units, equivalent to a 31.3% improvement compared with 268,488 units in 2021.

Broken down, commercial vehicle sales rose 45.6% to 266,699 units. The segment accounted for 75.64% of overall sales led by light commercial vehicles or LCVs with 209,728 units sold and Asian utility vehicles or AUVs with 46,877 units sold.

Auto SalesPassenger vehicle sales in 2022 increased by 0.7% to 85,897 units and accounted for 24.36% of total sales.

In December alone, the local auto industry sold a total of 37,259 units, higher by 33.8% from 27,846 units sold in the same month in 2021.

Sales of commercial vehicles, which rose 47.7% to 28,645 units from 19,399 units, accounted for 76.9% of overall sales in December.

Passenger vehicles sold reached 8,614 units, higher by 2% than the 8,447 units sold in the same month a year earlier. The segment contributed 23.12% of total sales.

CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said the full-year 2022 sales figure “brings renewed optimism” for the local auto industry in 2023, adding that the sales level last month was last recorded in 2017.

“The new motor vehicle sales of 37,259 units in December was the highest monthly performance recorded, which contributed in achieving its full-year sales of 352,596 units,” Mr. Gutierrez said in a separate statement.

He added that CAMPI-TMA sales alone have exceeded the total industry sales forecast of 336,000 units, “strong evidence that the industry has recovered from the impact of the pandemic and other external challenges.”

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. led car manufacturers in sales last year, accounting for 174,106 units sold or 49.38% of the total.

Other car manufacturers trailed distantly. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. had a share of 15.09% or 53,211 units sold, followed by Ford Motor Co. Phils, Inc. at 7.01% or 24,710 units sold, Nissan Philippines, Inc. at 6.02% or 21,222 units sold, Suzuki Phils, Inc. at 5.66% or 19,942 units sold, and Isuzu Philippines Corp. at 5% or 17,639 units sold.

Mr. Gutierrez said that the local industry is banking on strong demand to boost sales for 2023.

“The continued expansion of the economy, creation of new jobs and opportunities is just as important as ensuring that no pandemic disruption occurs anew this year. Nonetheless, the industry will continue to capitalize on the growing market demand for new motor vehicles,” Mr. Gutierrez said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave