New vehicle sales in the Philippines increased by 13.8% to a new monthly high of 16,800 units in October, compared with 14,764 units a year earlier, according to data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines and the Truck Manufacturers Association.

Record-low interest rates and new models helped drive sales forward last month, with passenger car sales rising by 36.2% year on year to 6,128 units, while sales of commercial vehicles were only slightly higher at 10,672 units.

Sales in the first 10 months of 2013 reached 148,181 units, up 17% compared with 126,663 units sold during the same period last year. Passenger car sales increased by 29.9% to 49,487 units year-to-date, while commercial vehicle sales were 11.4% higher at 98,694 units.

The data does not include sales of some key imported brands such as Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru, which combined typically account for between 10-15% of the total market.

Separately, Hyundai Asia Resources reported a slight increase in sales to 1,685 units in October, while year to date sales were 5% lower at 17,905 units. Hyundai enjoys by far the highest sales volumes among the non member brands.