NEW VEHICLE SALES rose by an annual 24% in March, fueled by strong consumer demand, an industry group reported.
A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed vehicle sales reached 36,880 units in March, nearly a fourth higher than the 29,685 units sold in the same month a year ago.
Month on month, March vehicle sales increased by 19.3% from the 30,905 units sold in February.
“It is worth noting that the March 2023 sales performance is the second-highest monthly performance in this post-pandemic time, after the more than 37,000-unit sales level recorded in December last year,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement.
In March, 73% of the industry’s total sales came from the commercial vehicle segment.
Commercial vehicle sales rose by 16.3% to 26,822 units in March. Broken down, sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased by 10% to 20,644, while sales of Asian utility vehicles (AUVs) increased by 54.2% to 5,205. Light truck sales rose by 9.2% to 453.
On the other hand, sales of passenger vehicles surged by 51.8% to 10,058 units. The segment accounted for 27.27% of the month’s overall sales.
For the first quarter, vehicle sales of CAMPI-TMA members jumped by 30% to 97,284 from 74,754 in the same period in 2022.
Commercial vehicle sales increased by 28.5% to 72,531 in the January-to-March period. Sales of LCVs went up by 21.5% to 55,436, while AUV sales climbed by 73% to 14,688 units.
Passenger car sales rose by 35.1% to 24,753 units in the January-to-March period.
Mr. Gutierrez said the auto industry is hopeful consumer demand for new vehicles will continue to increase in the next few months.
“In the same way, favorable economic conditions are also an important driving factor for sustained growth,” he added.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. led all manufacturers in terms of sales during the January-to-March period with a 46.47% market share as it sold 45,205 units.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. had the second-biggest market share with 18.26% after selling 17,765 units in the first quarter.
Nissan Philippines, Inc. ranked third with a market share of 6.57% (6,396 units sold), followed by Ford Motor Co. Phils, Inc. with a 6.06% market share (5,893 units sold), and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. with a 4.79% market share (4,661 units sold).
CAMPI-TMA is aiming to sell 395,000 units this year, 12% higher than the 352,596 units sold last year.
The entire local vehicle industry, including sales from the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors exclusive members and MG Motors Phils., is targeting 408,300 sales this year, 10.4% higher than the 369,981 units sold in 2022. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave