USERS AND VISITORS of leading automotive portals in the country, zigwheels.ph and carmudi.com.ph, have spoken with their browsing habits, and the results are unsurprising: Toyota is the number-one vehicle brand in the Philippines.

Data gathered from the two websites under CarBay Philippines, Inc. showed that the Toyota Rush is the top new model searched for on zigwheels.ph in 2020; the Toyota Wigo was the most-researched brand-new vehicle on carmudi.com.ph during the same period.

Even before the pandemic, more people had been turning to digital resources such as the two portals to do their research on both new and used vehicles, then proceed toward a purchase on the same sites. “The benefits of the digital medium had long been obvious to both auto customers and sellers,” said CarBay Philippines CEO Cholo Syquia in a release. “You could say that the pandemic merely served to magnify these advantages, and accelerate the pace of adoption. Through ZigWheels and Carmudi, we hope to be able to continue providing a convenient and seamless experience to all our users.”

Completing the top five models on the ZigWheels list are the Honda CR-V, Toyota Wigo, Toyota Vios, and the Toyota Fortuner. At Carmudi, the vehicles following the Toyota Wigo are the Toyota Hilux, Toyota Vios, Mitsubishi Xpander, and Toyota Hiace.

Under CarDekho, India’s leading auto tech group, ZigWheels and Carmudi remain the only two-portal automotive presence in the country. While both offer both brand-new and used cars, ZigWheels Philippines is skewed toward new cars; Carmudi Philippines toward used vehicles. Both are self-sufficient, independent brands with their own following.

On ZigWheels, users searching for pre-loved vehicles primarily looked for the Mitsubishi Montero Sport in 2020, followed by the Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Wigo, and Toyota Vios. The Mitsubishi L300 tops the Carmudi list, followed by the Toyota Vios, Toyota Innova, Mitsubishi Adventure, and Toyota Fortuner.

The pervasive appearance of Toyota models in all the lists is not surprising as Toyota Motor Philippines just marked its 19th straight year of notching the “triple crown” — leading the country’s passenger, commercial, and overall vehicle sales.

While last year was an obviously challenging period globally for the automotive sector, many experts are hoping that 2021 turns out to be a recovery year for the industry. “The 40% decline in local auto sales could have actually been worse,” continued Mr. Syquia. “And it is a testament to the agility of auto brands that they were able to quickly pivot to or leverage the digital medium. Of course, having been in this platform for a while, we are glad to offer our services and expertise to many of these companies who look to realize and maximize opportunities during these times.”

ZigWheels and Carmudi are full-spectrum auto websites which offer everything from timely, relevant industry news and features to authoritative reviews. These also have updated, credible listings of cars and motorcycles and even money-saving promotions. “We basically can assist browsers every step of the way,” underscored the CarBay executive. “And our services gain even more relevance these days as people look to reduce face-to-face interactions in the name of safety, yet rightfully demand and expect the best experience in their journey to vehicle acquisition.”

For more information, visit zigwheels.ph and carmudi.com.ph.