Vehicle sales in the Philippines jumped 28.4% year-on-year in April, according to data released by the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI).

Despite rising inflation and record-high oil prices, the country's economy has continued to expand strongly and demand for motor vehicles along with it.

Vehicle sales reached 11,078 units in April and 39,981 units in the first four months of 2008 - cumulatively 14.8% more than in the same period of last year. The commercial vehicle segment outperformed, rising by 16.5% to 26,460 units in the four months compared with 22,711 units in the same period of 2007.

Light commercial vehicle sales, including SUVs, were particularly strong, with volumes rising by 25% to 14,996 units. Passenger car sales rose by 11.6% to 13,521 units. Higher demand as recorded for vehicles driven by lower-cost diesel fuel, according to CAMPI.

Toyota Motors Philippines sold 14,160 for a market share of over 35%, with the Vios and Innova by far the country's best-selling models, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 5,354 sales (13.4%) and Honda Cars Philippines with 5,269 units.

Tony Pugliese