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The Philippines’ Automobile Sales Results in 2023

In 2023, automobile sales in the Philippines increased by 20.8% from the previous year to 441,241 units (estimated by FOURIN), recovering to around pre-coronavirus levels. The inflation rate at the beginning of the year was at a high level of 8.7%, so there were concerns that it would affect unit sales, but an increase in remittances from overseas, combined with a weaker national currency, boosted consumption. In terms of GDP growth rate, it was 5.3%, ranking second among emerging countries in Asia after India (6.3%).

Most of the top brands increased sales. Market leader Toyota, including Lexus, recorded over 200,000 units, an increase of 14.9% from the previous year. Mitsubishi Motors came in second place with sales of approximately 78,000 units, an increase of 47.3%, followed by Ford with approximately 31,000 units, up 26.8%, and Nissan with approximately 27,000 units, up 27.9%. On the other hand, 5th placed Suzuki's sales decreased by 7.5% to some 18,000 units due its poor commercial vehicle lineup and a decline in sales of the Carry.

Japanese brands accounted for over 80% of the market but decreased by 1.1 points from the previous year. There was no change in the market share of EU / US brands (8.1%) and Chinese brands (5.7%), but Korean brands raised share by 1.2 points to 3.2%. A major factor behind this increase is Hyundai's recovery in sales volume. The company revamped its dealer system in June 2022 due to declining unit sales.

At the Senate Committee on Ways and Means meeting held at the end of January 2024, the proposal to abolish the tax exemption for pickup trucks was once again on the agenda. The chairman Sherwin Gatchalian requested that the Department of Trade estimate the impact of abolishing the tax exemption for further discussion. Since pickups account for about 20% of the total automobile market in the Philippines, it will be interesting to see whether this bill will pass or not.

Graph: Philippines: Sales Volume of Automobiles (2014-2023)Graph: Philippines: Market Share of Top 5 Brands (2018-2023)
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