New vehicle sales in the Philippines rose by close to 17% to 27,521 units in March, from 23,557 in the same month of last year, according to a report released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The data does not include sales of some key non-affiliated brands, including Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru, which together typically account for around 15% of the total market.

The country's domestic economy continued to expand strongly in the first quarter, driven by strong growth in both public and private sector spending and investment. This is fuelling strong growth in the service sector and construction activity. 

Total vehicle sales rose by almost 22% to 76,479 units in the first three months of the year, according to the associations, from 62,882 units in the same period last year.

Passenger car sales increased by close to 17% to 11,345 units in March and by 19% to 29,796 units in the first quarter of the year. Commercial vehicle sales rose by 23% both last month and in the first quarter to 16,176 units and 46,683 units respectively, reflecting strong growth in construction and infrastructure investment.