Vehicle sales in the Philippines fell by 9.8% year-on-year to 10,680 units in October, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI), reflecting falling consumer and business sentiment as global economic conditions continued to deteriorate.

Cumulative sales in the first 10 months of the year were 10% higher at 104,757 units, compared with 95,242 a year earlier, and CAMPI remained optimistic that the market will reach the 125,000-unit level it had forecast earlier in the year.

In the 10-month period, passenger cars sales grew by 12.3% to 37,830 units, while commercial vehicle sales rose 7.7% to 66,297 units in the same period. Toyota Motor sold 37,860 vehicles for a market share of 36.1%. Mitsubishi Motors sold 14,543 units, for a market share of 13.9%; Honda Motor 12,462 units (11.9%).

Businesses are increasingly worried about the outlook for the economy in 2009. Foreign direct investment is down this year and exports are coming under increasing pressure. The vehicle market will likely see a decline next year.

Tony Pugliese