The Philippine new vehicle market continued to decline in August, by 14.1% to 30,313 units from peak year-earlier sales of 35,309 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.

This was the seventh consecutive month of decline for the market, after several years of exceptionally strong growth, despite aggressive promotional campaigns and new model launches in recent months by key vehicle manufacturers.  

The recent market weakness has been blamed on a new tax structure introduced at the beginning of the year while domestic confidence has also been impacted by recent interest rate increases by the central bank, rising inflation and a weakening peso. 

Passenger vehicle sales fell by almost 23% year on year to 8,678 units last month while commercial vehicle sales were down by 10% at 21,635 units, according to the associations' data.

The overall market was down by 14.3% at 229,941 units in the first eight months of the year from 268,424 units in the same period of last year. Passenger car sales fell by 21.4% to 71,637 units from 91,139 units a year earlier, while commercial vehicle sales were 10.7% lower at 158,304 units from 177,285 units – reflecting particularly weak demand for Asia utility vehicles.

Separate data released by Hyundai Asia Resources shows the South Korea brand sold 2,987 vehicles in August and 22,223 units year to date – down by 8.3% on the same period of last year.