Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, car sales in the Philippines have slumped a bit in 2020. It is a stark contrast compared to how the industry performed in 2019, but then again, it’s an unavoidable force majeure situation that obviously affected all kinds of businesses from automotive down to the humblest of sari-sari stores.
People will always need vehicles, the pandemic and global chip shortage notwithstanding
Now that it’s 2021, local car brands are continuing their struggle under the new normal. There’s also the fact that the automotive industry as a whole is currently being affected by the global chip shortage. But regardless, the industry is doing its best and is slowly soldiering on to recovery despite the current difficulties.
So, which car brands in the Philippines currently sit on the top of the sales charts as of the first quarter (January to March) of 2021? Well, here’s a list.
1. Toyota – 33,095 units
From January to March, Toyota Motor Philippines has managed to sell 33,095 units. As such, it remains as the top Philippine car brand in terms of sales numbers. That’s a 1.46 percent increase compared to how it did during the first quarter of 2020.
As of its release, the Vios GR-S is now the model's top-spec variant
Remember also that despite the hurdles, TMP also came out on top last year. Sure, it did experience a drop of 40.4 percent compared to 2019, but it still managed to get 41.3 percent of the overall market share in the Philippines.
The latest addition to the Toyota model lineup is the Vios GR-S variant, which is a decked-out, sportier version of the said sedan model.
2. Mitsubishi – 11,788 units
The second car brand on this list is Mitsubishi Motor Philippines, which managed to sell 11,788 units from January to March 2021. In the same quarter last year, the Japanese-marque sold 12,235 units, which translates to a 3.7 percent loss year to date.
In February 2021 alone, Mitsubishi sold over 2,000 Xpander units
As of this writing, Mitsubishi's latest model launch was the Outlander back in February 2021. Surprisingly however, the L300 commercial model is the brand’s chart-topper for this quarter. It opened 2021 with a bang with 764 units sold. By March 2021, the brand then followed that up by selling 1,060 L300 units.
3. Nissan – 5,198 units
Finishing third for the first quarter of this year is Nissan Philippines Inc., with a total of 5,198 units sold. This represents a 39 percent drop from the 8,517 the brand sold in the first quarter of 2020.
The 2021 Nissan Navara
The latest model that this Japanese marque released is the facelifted 2021 Nissan Navara. It is also bringing in the Nissan LEAF EV in May. And lastly, Nissan Philippines also quietly dropped the Juke thus leaving a crossover-shaped hole in its model lineup. Then again, the brand might be bringing in a new model, which could help generate much needed hype for the brand.
4. Ford – 5,194 units
Following closely in fourth place is Ford Motor Company Philippines with a total of 5,194 units sold for the first quarter of this year. This represents a 33.4 percent growth from January to March 2021. Also, that figure is a whole lot more compared to the Blue Oval’s performance in the first quarter of 2020 where it sold 415 passenger car units, and 3,479 light commercial vehicle units.
The Ford Ranger FX4 Max is Ford's latest addition to its Ranger variant lineup
Leading the charge for Ford is the ever-popular Ranger. In March 2021 alone, the brand managed to sell 760 units of the said pickup truck model.
5. Suzuki – 4,695 units
In fifth place is Suzuki Philippines with 4,695 units sold in the first quarter of 2021. Like Ford, the Japanese small-car specialist has enjoyed a great deal of growth during this period. To be exact, the marque experienced 21.4 percent. That came as no surprise at all considering that Suzuki also became the top-performing brand for passenger cars in January and February 2021.
The S-Presso is proof that Filipinos are still sold on small city cars
Suzuki’s newest model, the S-Presso, also sold well during the January to February period. The little car managed to get a 13 percent share of the said brand’s total sales during the first two months of 2021.
For now, these are the top five car brands in the Philippines. To sum it up, the automotive industry is still wrestling with ongoing challenges when it comes to selling and making cars. There’s the global chip shortage, and in a more local context, this year’s series of community quarantines. Hopefully, the local automotive industry can overcome those.
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Know more about Toyota
<p>Toyota leads the local automobile industry, distributed by Toyota Motor Philippines. It has a staggering total of 73 dealerships all over the country. It has 27 dealerships in Luzon, 15 in the Visayas, 11 in Mindanao, and 20 in Metro Manila, including Lexus Manila, Inc. for its service centers and sales distribution. TMP has the most extensive car lineup in the country, with its current range consisting of 20 vehicles in total. See the latest price list of Toyota vehicles in the Philippines here.</p>
Cesar G.B. Miguel