Sales of motor vehicles in the country rose by 12.7 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, supported by strong consumer demand and improved supply.

A joint report released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association yesterday showed a total of 109,606 vehicles were sold in the January to March period this year, higher than the 97,284 units during the same period in 2023.

'YTD (year-to-date) sales performance was driven by sustained demand for new vehicles, supported by overall supply improvement,' CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez said.

Commercial vehicles (CVs) continued to drive industry performance, accounting for 74 percent of the total sales in the first quarter of this year.

Total CV sales in the January to March period reached 81,395 units, up by 12.2 percent from 72,531 units in the same period last year.

Passenger car (PC) sales rose by 14 percent to 28,211 units in the first quarter from 24,753 units in the same period a year ago.

Gutierrez said the automotive industry closed the first quarter of the year with a strong performance even as sales in March alone posted a slight decline on a month-on-month basis.

In particular, total vehicle sales in March this year reached 37,474 units, 1.6 percent lower than the 38,072 units sold in February 2024.

Compared to the 36,880 units sold in March last year, sales in March this year increased by 1.6 percent.

CV sales went up by two percent to 27,347 units in March this year from 26,822 units in the same month in 2023.

Sales of PCs picked up slightly to 10,127 units in March this year from the previous year's 10,058 units.

By company, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. continued to account for the biggest share in total vehicle sales in the first quarter at 45.31 percent.

This was followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. in second spot with a 19.04 percent share and Nissan Philippines Inc. in third place with a 7.22 percent share.

At fourth spot was Ford Motor Co. Philippines Inc. with a 6.87 percent share, followed by Suzuki Philippines Inc. in fifth place with 4.01 percent.

'Our Q1 (first quarter) performance keeps us on track to achieve our 2024 target,' bGutierrez said.

CAMPI has a conservative sales forecast of 468,300 units for this year, nine percent higher than last year's sales of 429,807 units.

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