Philippine new vehicle sales continue to drop in January; industry sees rebound

21, Feb. 2019

MANILA, NNA – New vehicle sales in the Philippines posted a 12th straight year-on-year drop in January as last year's inflation spike and tax hike continued to hurt consumption, but the industry expects a rebound in 2019.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines and the Truck Manufacturers Association released their latest monthly sales data Wednesday.

Key points:

―― New vehicle sales declined 15 percent to 26,888 units in January from 31,645 units a year earlier.

―― Japanese automakers continued to dominate the Philippine car industry. Toyota remained the market leader with a 42.2 percent market share, although its sales fell 14.1 percent y/y to 11,355 units in January.

―― Mitsubishi was second a 19.5 percent share, while its sales slumped 22.5 percent to 5,239 units. Nissan came in third with 3,100 vehicles sold, up 55 percent. It was the only brand that posted a year-to-date increase among the top 10. Honda was fourth with 1,943 units sold, an 8.6 percent decline, followed by Ford, whose sales decreased a sharp 34.6 percent to 1,790.

―― Last year, vehicle sales saw the biggest drop in seven years, hit by inflation and the government’s excise taxes on petroleum products and automobiles. Purchases had surged in 2017 in anticipation of the tax hike.

Takeaway:

―― Despite the weak start to 2019, the Philippine auto industry expects annual sales to increase.

“With the economy projected to remain strong, introductions of new models, upgrades to existing models and strong promotional campaigns by industry players, we are confident that vehicle sales this year will recover from the slow sales in 2018,” Rommel Gutierrez, president of CAMPI and Toyota Motor Philippines first vice president for corporate affairs, told NNA.