The Philippines’ new vehicle market regained momentum in March, with sales rising by close to 33% to 36,561 units from 27,521 units in the same month of last year, according to data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The CAMPI/TMA data does not include sales of non-affiliated brands, including Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru, which together accounted for around 20% of the total market last year.

Last month’s strong gains reflect the continued strength of the country’s domestic economy. GDP growth last year was 6.8%, with low interest rates driving domestic consumption and investment growth. 

First quarter sales rose by 23% to 94,026 units, compared with 76,473 units in the same period last year. Sales of passenger vehicles increased by over 25% to 37,367 units in this period, from 29,796 a year earlier, while commercial vehicles sales rose by 33% to 62,075 units, from 46,683 units previously.