The Philippine automotive industry ended 2017 with a 17.66% increase as sales totaled 473,943 units amid a backdrop of uncertainty and panic over a landmark tax reform law which would impose additional excise taxes in 2018.
The total sales figure is based on consolidated reports from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID).
Like the previous year, commercial vehicle took a larger share of the market with 306,116 units (64.59%) as Passenger Cars took the remaining 35.41% of the pie with 167,827 units.
2017 is the eighth consecutive growth year for the Philippine automotive industry, setting a best-ever 473,943 unit sales mark driven by a favorable economic outlook, new model debuts, and panic buying due to the tax hike.
The country remains the strongest ASEAN market with its 16.77% gain leading Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. However, joining the Philippines this year is a recovering Thai auto industry with a 13.3% growth and emerging Myanmar with over 90% gains this year.
The last quarter registered significant gains as the months of October, November, December contributing significantly with gains in nearly all segments. Auto sales for CAMPI/TMA and AVID members totaled to 136,281 in Q4.
Top 5 Brands
Toyota remains ahead with a commanding lead of the market with a 38.54% market share with 182,657 units sold. Toyota sales increased by 15.56% over the previous year's 158,058 units.
Mitsubishi remains second with 71,001 units with a 14.98% market share. Remaining as one of the top performing markets for Mitsubishi, MMPC logged a 19.37% increase compared to last year's 59,480 units sold.
Hyundai stays in the top three with 37,678 units sold with an 7.95% market share with an 11.82% increase year-on-year against a 33,695 unit total.
Ford followed in fourth, with a total of 36,623 units with a 7.73% market share. The American automaker increased sales by 8.71% compared to the previous year's 36,623 figure.
Honda climbed up to fifth as it logged 31,758 units sold for 6.7% of the market, it gained 36.89% against last year's 23,199 total.
Isuzu slid down to sixth, despite selling 30,086 units. It gained 9.96% against last year's 27,361 units.
Nissan continued its fourth consecutive year of resurgence with 24,995 units against last year's 16,897 sales total representing a 47.93% gain.
Suzuki's sales remained upbeat with a 34.21% gain bringing their 2017 figure to 19,263 against last year's 14,353.
Chevrolet struggled in 2017, barely growing by 0.30% with a 5,949 unit total compared to 2016's 5,931 total.
Mazda performed quite remarkably with a 28.29% gain moving them up to the 10th spot with 5,247 units sold.
Top 3 Premium Brands
As with global trend, Mercedes-Benz led the premium market with 1,588 passenger cars sold growing 68.4% over last year's 945 units.
BMW followed in second with 1,354 units sold, a 33.27% advantage over the previous year's 1,016 unit total.
Lexus registerd a logged a staggering 86.72% gain with 1,251 units sold against last year's 670 units.
Top 5 Truck Brands
Isuzu remained the top seller 7,499 units sold in the Light Truck, Category IV Truck/Bus and Category V Truck/Bus sub-segments.
Hino comes in second with a 4,030 cumulative total, registering a 40.08% surge from last year already optimistic performance.
Fuso comes in fourth with 2,589 units sold, a significant 34.84% growth from 2016.
Foton comes in fourth with 2,312 units sold. The Chinese commercial vehicle maker registered a 4.31% growth.
Jinbei trucks, distributed by IKK Ichigan rounds up the Top 5 with 187 units sold in 2017. The Chinese brand dropped 58.72% from last year's 453 units.
Key Movers in 2017
The past year saw mostly positive movements for mainstream and premium brands. Some brands significantly grew their market share moving several positions up the order.
Nissan continues its market resurgence with another 47.93% growth year-on-year, it shouldn't be long before they compete in the Top 5.
Honda also performed significantly well last year with a 36.89% gain as they climbed up to 5th overall.
Suzuki also improved their year-on-year performance with a 34.21% gain driven by a 64.5% surge in their light commercial vehicle category sales with the introduction of new models.
Hino registered another 40.08% growth as they strengthened their second position in the light to heavy duty trucks segment.
For the premium players, Lexus registered a whopping 86.72% increase as buyers snapped up premium cars in anticipation of higher prices this year. Mercedes-Benz also registered a significant 68.4% growth, which catapulted them to the top stop.
The sentiment is generally cautious this year as 2018 prices have reflected increases in most segments. CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez expressed optimism that the industry will continue on with a flat growth this year. AVID's president, was likewise optimistic about 2018.
"For the year ahead, we remain optimistic as we expect short-run market adjustments resulting from the TRAIN. Nevertheless, the new automotive landscape opens waves of opportunities for the luxury, e-vehicles and hybrid vehicles market. Thus, AVID will continue supporting efforts to sustain inclusive growth and build a positive environment for business," said Ms. Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, AVID president.