The Philippine new vehicle market plunged by almost 30% to 31,945 units in December 2018 from 45,494 a year ago, 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, which typically account for around 15% of sales. 

Last month there was a 34% drop in passenger vehicle sales to 9,301 units from 14,182 units a year earlier, with consumer sentiment affected by rising inflation which triggered a string of central bank interest rate hikes during the year.

Sales in December 2017 were also strong as buyers brought forward purchases ahead of the introduction of a new tax structure at the beginning of 2018.

Commercial vehicle sales were also down sharply last month by almost 28% to 22,644 units from 31,312 units a year earlier. 

Full year sales were 16% lower at 357,410 units in 2018 compared with 425,673 units in 2017, with passenger vehicle sales down by 21.8% to 109,020 units while commercial vehicle sales dropped 13.2% to 248,390 units.