The Philippine new vehicle market declined by 2.4% to 29,599 units in August 2019 from 30,313 units in the same month of last year, 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 data did not include non-affiliated brands such as Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru which together accounted for around 12% of the total market last year.

This was the first monthly decline since the market began its recovery in February of this year following broad based excise tax increases at the beginning of 2018.

Passenger car sales increased by just 1.2% year on year to 8,871 units last month, while commercial vehicle sales fell by 3.8% to 20,818 units.

CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement "supply constraints and the run out of outgoing models of some brands have hampered the industry's rate of recovery in August". 

Nevertheless, GDP growth slowed to 5.5% year on year in the second quarter of 2019 - the slowest growth rate since 2015 and down from 6.2% in the whole of 2018.

This reflected weaker household consumption and government spending growth, slowing exports and shrinking investment in the country. The central bank continued to cut interest rates in August to stimulate private consumption.

Vehicle sales in the first eight months of the year declined by 2.4% to 235,544 units from 229,941 units in the same period last year.

Passenger car sales were down by 1.5% at 70,596 units while commercial vehicle sales were 4.2% higher at 164,948 units - helped by strong demand for pickup trucks and newly launched passenger utility vehicles (PUVs).

Toyota claimed a 42.73% share of the vehicle market in the seven month period, followed by Mitsubishi Motors with 17.42%, Nissan 11.98%, Suzuki 6.48% and Ford 6.26%.

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