Motorists ply the northbound lane of EDSA in Pasay City before dawn, Aug. 14. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

VEHICLE SALES jumped by 29% in July, as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, an industry report showed.

In a joint report released on Monday, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said new motor vehicle sales stood at 27,813 units in July, 29% up from 21,498 units sold in the same period a year ago.

“The double-digit sales growth recorded in July driven by higher demand for new motor vehicles brings a high degree of confidence for continued recovery of the auto industry. This mirrors the improvement on the consumer outlook for big-ticket items based on the government report,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement.

Sales of commercial vehicles surged by 49% to 21,467 units in July, from 14,396 units in the same month a year ago. This was attributed to double-digit rise in sales of light commercial vehicles (39.9%) and Asian utility vehicles (55.3%).

Month on month, commercial vehicle sales inched up by 1.5%.

The strong sales in commercial vehicles helped offset the 10.6% decline in passenger car sales to 6,346 units in July, from 7,102 units in the same month in 2021. Car sales shrank by 14.90% month on month.

In the first seven months of the year, CAMPI-TMA members sold a total of 182,687 units, 18.4% higher than the 154,265 units sold a year ago.

This was mainly due to the 31% rise in sales of commercial vehicles to 137,338 units during the seven-month period. Sales of light commercial vehicles surged by 36.2% to 108,660 units, while Asian utility vehicles went up by 18.5% to 23,285 units.

However, passenger car sales remained lackluster, dropping by 8.4% to 45,349 units in the January to July period.

Mr. Gutierrez remained optimistic about the industry outlook for the rest of the year.

“The improvement in the availability of jobs and employment, business recovery, and containment of the pandemic are important drivers for the overall economic recovery in this post pandemic normalcy — similarly true for the industry’s recovery as well,” Mr. Gutierrez, who is also first vice-president at Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP), said.

TMP continued to dominate the market with a share of 51.47% in the first seven months of 2022. TMP sold 94,026 units during the period.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. had the second-biggest market share at 14.10%, with sales of 25,761 in the January to July period.

Nissan Philippines ranked third with a market share of 7.06%, with sales of 12,893 units.

In fourth place was Suzuki Philippines which had a 6.25% share, after selling 11,413 units.

Ford Motor Philippines ranked fifth with a market share of 5.89%, with sales of 10,753 units. — R.M.D.Ochave