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New vehicle sales in the Philippines rose by 39.3% to 12,573 units in February from 9,027 units a year ago – despite fewer business days due to the Lunar New Year holidays, according to data released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (Campi). February sales were also up by 6.9% on January’s 11,763 total.

Two-month cumulative sales, at 24,336 units, were 37% higher than last year’s 17,818 units. Campi president Elizabeth Lee was upbeat on the prospects for further growth in the coming months. “The market has had a good start to the year. Traditionally, February is low-selling month.”

Commercial vehicle sales amounted to 15,976 units in the January-February period – up by 41.5% year-on-year, with light vans and minibus sales outperforming with growth of 47.4%. Sales of trucks and buses declined, however, reflecting mainly a very weak performance in January. Passenger car sales rose by 28% to 8,360 units in the latest two-month period.

Toyota reported a 28.5% rise in sales to 8,014 units in January-February, while second-placed Mitsubishi enjoyed a 54.4% rise in volumes to 4,616 units. Third-placed Honda reported a 4.8% sales drop to 2,824 units.

Tony Pugliese

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By GlobalData