VEHICLE SALES recovered in September after last month’s decline, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reported on Tuesday.

Data jointly released by the groups yesterday showed overall sales in September grew 2.3% to 31,820 units from 31,116 in the same month last year, and by 7.5% from 29,599 in August.

CAMPI president Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement that the group expected recovery coming into the last quarter of the year.

“September is traditionally the start of an upward trend in sales as the public begin to spend for the upcoming holiday season,” he said.

“Indeed, we welcome this positive growth as this is a good indicator of the increasing and widening demand for vehicles that has been the trademark of our industry. We are optimistic that the industry is well-positioned and prepared to progressively get back on track towards strong positive growth in the coming months.”

Car sales in September last year saw a 9.7% year-on-year drop as the industry slumped from higher excise taxes that took effect early in 2018.

CAMPI said it remains positive that the automotive sector will post “continuous positive growth” in sales for the rest of the year.

Broken down, September sales of commercial vehicles this year — which account for 69.45% of the market — went up by two percent to 22,099 from 21,675 in the same month last year. Asian utility vehicle (AUV) sales grew by 14.2% to 3,341 from 2,926 while light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales declined by 0.8% to 17,488 from 17,626.

In turn, passenger vehicle sales grew three percent to 9,721 from 9,441 last year.

Year-to-date, the passenger car segment saw sales drop by 1.1% to 80,317 from 81,182 sold in the same nine months last year, while commercial vehicle sales climbed 3.9% to 187,047 from 179,979. Meanwhile, AUV sales dropped by 31% to 26,348 from 38,181, while LCV sales rose 14.9% to 150,436 from 130,977.

Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) retained its top spot in terms of vehicle market share at 42.3%, selling 13,460 units during the month or 6.1% more than a year ago, the CAMPI-TMA report showed.

This was followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. which had a 15.63% market share in September, even with its sales for the month dropping 21.1% to 4,973 units from 6,305 last year.

Nissan Philippines followed with a 14.98% market share as its vehicle sales went up 21.8% to 4,768 units in September from 3,916 in the same month last year.

At fourth place in terms of market share for the month was Suzuki Philippines, Inc. as it sold 6.83% of the total, with sales growing 25.8% to 2,174 units from 1,728 a year ago. Ford Motor Company Philippines Inc. came next with a 5.13% market share, reporting a 5.4% decline in sales to 1,632 units from 1,725 in the same month last year. — Jenina P. Ibañez