The Philippine new vehicle market picked up momentum in April 2024, with sales rising by 22% to 37,314 units from 30,643 a year earlier, according to member wholesale data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The strong market performance last month came despite a slowdown in consumer spending growth in the first quarter of the year, to 4.6% year-on-year compared with 5.3% in the previous quarter, following sharp interest rate hikes by the central bank in the last two years – from 2.0% to 6.5%.  Overall economic growth was slightly stronger, at 5.7% from 5.6%, driven by a rebound in export activity.

Vehicle sales in the first four months of the year expanded by 15% to 146,920 units from 127,927 units in the same period of last year, with sales of passenger vehicles increasing by 19% to 38,253 units while commercial vehicle sales were up by 13% at 108,667 units.

Toyota reported a 14% sales rise to 67,580 units in the four-month period; followed by Mitsubishi Motors with 27,828 units (+19%); Ford 9,688 (+20%); Nissan 9,375 (+10%); and Suzuki with 6,117 units.

Toyota last month confirmed it plans to begin production of an all-new Tamaraw utility vehicle in the third quarter of 2024, with deliveries to follow in the fourth quarter. The model will be based on the new Hilux Champ entry-level pickup truck produced in Thailand. The previous model was widely used by government departments, utility companies and small businesses.

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