New vehicle sales in the Philippines continued to decline in April, by 9.3% to 25,583 units from high year-earlier sales of 28,216 units, according to member data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The data did not include some significant brands in this market, including Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru.

Commercial vehicle sales fell by 18.3% to 15,673 units last month from 19,176 units a year earlier, driven lower mainly by a sharp drop in utility vehicle sales, while passenger vehicle sales increased by 9.6% to 9,910 units.

This was the third consecutive month of decline for the Philippine market after several years of exceptionally strong growth. The recent market weakness has been largely blamed on a new tax structure introduced at the beginning of the year.

It is unclear to what extent the current overhaul of the country's public road transport network has affected the market. Economic growth has strengthened this year, with preliminary government data showing first quarter GDP growth of 6.8% compared with 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

Sales in the first four months of 2018 declined by 9.3% to 111,620 units from 123,064 units in the same period last year. Toyota's sales were down by 11.5% at 47,307 units in this period.