Vehicle sales rose by 23 percent in the first five months of the year to 72,988 units, from the 59,174 sold in the same period of 2012.
In the month of May alone, dealers posted an 11.2-percent gain in sales to 15,859 vehicles, from the 14,888 units recorded in the same month last year, according to a joint report submitted by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).
Trucks and buses, and the light commercial vehicles segments took the lead in industry sales, Campi said.
Because of the government’s call for the re-fleeting of public utility vehicles and an increase in construction activities, sales of trucks and buses from January to May grew by 58 percent to 778 units.
Sales of light commercial vehicles, meanwhile, rose by 29 percent to 30,680 units.
Campi noted how the share of light commercial vehicles, out of the total industry sales during the period, rose to 63 percent from 57 percent.
“Improvement in the economy is always first manifested by an upward trend in light commercial vehicle sales. This is because this type of vehicle could easily double as a family vehicle and a business transport service,” said Campi president Rommel Gutierrez.
As of end-May this year, Toyota Motor Philippines continued to lead the market with a 40-percent share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., which garnered a 24 percent market share.
Honda Cars Philippines took the third spot with an 8.4-percent share, while Ford landed on the fourth slot with a 6.9-percent share. It was followed closely by Isuzu Philippines Corp. with 6.6 percent.
According to Gutierrez, the group expects the local automotive industry to “smash all previous years’ performances as introduction of new models and promo packages, coupled with low interest rates, will continue to attract consumers.”
Growth will be further spurred once the Department of Trade and Industry announces the completion of the Automotive Industry Roadmap, a move said to be highly anticipated by the local players, Gutierrez added.
“The roadmap will be the single biggest impetus that will drive the industry to greater heights… We are grateful that the industry’s contribution to the Philippine economy will finally be recognized,” Gutierrez said.