Philippine auto sales ended on a high with an 11.5% gain in December 2017 registering 45,494 units sold based on the latest report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA). This brought Q4 total for CAMPI and TMA member sales alone to 122,804, the highest for the year as buyers rushed to make purchases before the excise tax driven price hikes in 2018.

Year-to-date growth continues to be optimistic with 425,672 units sold from January to December, a 18.4% growth compared to last year's 359,572 units. Passenger car sales gained 4.7% while Commercial vehicle sales jumped up by 26.4%.

Compared to the same month in 2016, December 2017 reflected a 33.4% gain against the 34,104 unit total the previous year.

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Comparing with the previous month, Passenger Car sales surged by 19.2%, while Commercial Vehicle sales increased by 8.4%. The Commercial Vehicle segment sold a total of 31,312 units, capturing 68.83% of the market. Passenger Car sales totaled 14,182 units, taking the remaining 31.17%.

"We ended 2017 with a positive note. Aggressive promos, new model updates and the hard work of members helped contribute to expanding the Philippine market. While exceeding our sales target for the year, we remain cautious in our projection for 2018. CAMPI remains confident that the market will be able to adjust to the new auto excise tax in 2018," said CAMPI president Atty. Rommel Gutierrez.

The Commercial Vehicle sub-segments were still led by Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), comprising 74.84% of CV sales with 23,434 units sold; 23% more than last month's 20,239 total. AUV/MPV segment sold 6,472 units, down 5.3% from 6,832 last month. Truck and bus sales were all down as buyer focus was mainly on passenger and light commercial vehicles. Light truck sales dropped 21.6%, selling a total of 693 units compared to the previous month's 884 unit total. Category 4 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus sales totaled 415 units (-19.4%) compared to last month's 515 units. Category 5 Heavy Duty Truck and Bus were up with 298 units sold, (-11.8%) compared to last month's 338 units.

Sales performance were mostly positive for most brands during the final month of 2017. The top 3 advancers*: Honda (HCPI) surged by 59.5%, Suzuki (SPI) increased by 59.2%, Ford (FGP) continued the previous month's surge with another 35.8% increase in sales. Top three decliners for December* were Hino (HMPC) with a 31.3% drop, Nissan (NPI) with a 3.8% decline, and Mitsubishi (MMPC) down by 1%.

*only brands selling more than 100 units per month were included.

The top five performing manufacturers for the month of December are:

1. Toyota – 17,307 units (38.04% market share)

2. Mitsubishi – 6,886 units (15.14% market share)

3. Honda – 4,961 units (10.9% market share)

4. Ford– 4,629 units (10.17% market share)

5. Isuzu – 3,809 units (8.37% market share)

The total count for the 2017 sees Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation with its commanding lead of the market with 43.2-percent. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation followed in second with 17.29-percent. Ford Motor Company Philippines, Inc. remains in third with 8.6-percent. Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. retains fourth with 7.46-percent, Isuzu Philippines, Corp. holds fifth position with 7.07-percent.