The Philippines new vehicle market declined by over 11% to 20,765 units in January 2022 from 23,380 units in the same month of last year, according to member wholesale data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

Last year’s market recovery from depressed 2020 levels – during in the first year of the pandemic, has ground to a halt despite strong economic growth in the country last year. GDP growth rebounded by 7.7% year-on-year in the fourth quarter 2021 and by 5.6 % over the full year.

CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said the emergence of the Omicron variant and the reintroduction of social restrictions in some areas has impacted consumer confidence. The Philippines was one of the countries in Asia worst hit by the pandemic in 2020, when GDP plunged by 9.6%.

Sales of passenger vehicles fell by nearly 21% to 5,784 units last month while commercial vehicle sales were down by almost 7% at 14,981 units.

Toyota Motor Philippines sales declined by almost 9% to 9,877 units in January, followed by Mitsubishi Motors with 2,954 units (-16%); Nissan 1,781 units (-23%); Suzuki 1,430 (-8%); Ford with 1,202 units (-25%).

The data do not include members of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), which reported a 14% sales increase to 58,916 units in 2021.