The Philippine new vehicle market continued to grow strongly in August 2023, by 22% to 36,714 units from 30,185 a year earlier, according to member wholesale data released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The strong year on year increase was explained partly by the recent addition of new members by the two associations, including Hyundai, Chery, Geely and Jiangling Motors.

Overall demand for light vehicles in the Philippines remained strong despite the central bank hiking interest rates from 2% to 6.25% in little more than a year in response to high inflation. Economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter of 2023, to 4.3% year on year from 6.4% in the first quarter and 7.6% in 2022.

In the first eight months of the year, vehicle sales increased 33% to 276,215 units from 212,872 units in the same period in 2022 with passenger car sales surging 35% to 70,451 units while commercial vehicle sales increased 28% to 205,764 units driven mainly by strong demand for pickup trucks.

Toyota has underperformed so far this year with sales rising by just 17% to 126,795 units, while Mitsubishi sales surged 67% to 50,439 units on strong demand for its Xpander and Mirage models. Ford sales surged 48% to 19,700 units driven by strong sales of the new Ranger pickup truck.

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