PH auto industry bouncing back, starts Q4 2020 on a positive note

Updated Apr 13, 2021 | Same topic: Branded

The local automotive market is showing resiliency.

It’s an understatement to mention that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our daily lives. It has changed how we deal with and go about our day-to-day activity. The pandemic also resulted in an economic crisis where a lot of industries are doing their best to make ends meet.  

Among the industries that were terribly affected by the pandemic is the Philippine automotive market. It showed all-time lows in terms of unit sales, especially during the height of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period in March to May 2020.

In fact, automotive sales in the Philippines in April 2020 went down by almost 99 percent with only 133 units sold. Then in May 2020, local auto sales went up but it only registered 4,788 units sold, which is 85 percent lower than the same period in 2019. 

Regaining momentum

Automotive sales in the Philippines started to regain momentum when the majority of the country was placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). In June 2020, local auto sales yielded 15,578 units, which is a 69 percent increase. Then, the local automotive industry continued to show positive momentum in July 2020 with 20,542 unit sales, but a slight dip was registered in August 2020 with 17,905 units sold. 

However, the Philippine automotive industry showed strong numbers beginning in September 2020 with 24,523 units sold. Then, it started Q4 2020 on a positive note as it posted more than 25,000 unit sales in October 2020, a 2.7 percent increase.  

Philkotse October 2020 Auto Sales Report

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Going digital

There are a number of reasons why the local automotive industry is posting great numbers once again. One of which is that local car brands shifted their marketing strategy by maximizing the digital platform even further. Most car brands in the country have revamped their respective website to make them look like a virtual showroom where an individual can view the cars they offer. Aside from coming up with virtual showrooms, brands have also used different social media platforms to promote enticing car promos.

Fear and anxiety in the COVID-19 era

Aside from going digital, another reason why car sales in the Philippines are starting to go up again is that owning a car has become more of a necessity in this COVID-19 era. Why so? Well, commuting and taking public transportation could potentially expose an individual to the virus.

Sadly, social distancing is hard to be implemented in public modes of transportation especially in Metro Manila. In jeepneys, the only thing that separates you from the passengers seated next to you is a clear plastic-like cover.

Moreover, it’s challenging to disinfect recently vacated seats inside a jeepney or a non-point-to-point bus while in transit. Taking public transport comes with health risks that could bring fear and anxiety, needless to say.

Used Cars also gaining interest

With that in mind, used cars are also gaining market interest in the Philippines since it’s a relatively more affordable option compared to brand-new cars. Again, one of the driving forces for the demand for used cars is the fear and anxiety of getting exposed to the virus when commuting to and from a certain destination via public transportation. 

Based on’s data, the demand and interest for used cars showed an increase of 8.3 percent in October 2020. The data showed that there were up to around 4.36 million inquiries for used cars in October 2020. This tells us that people visiting are interested in purchasing a used car. Moreover, the said data supports the idea that owning a car in this COVID-19 era has become more of a necessity.    

>>> Related: Online car buying will rise after COVID-19, but won't be permanent

Philkotse October 2020 Auto Sales Report

Top 5 Used Car with the most number of listings in Philkotse

The Toyota Vios leads the pack when it comes to having the most number of listings in This is not surprising since the Vios is one of the best selling cars in the Philippine market since its introduction.

In fact, the Vios is the best-selling car in the Philippines in 2019. As such, you can expect that there will be more used car listing for the Vios in the coming years. 

The second spot is held by the Toyota Innova, which is also a hot-selling car in the local market. Similar to the Vios, the Innova has been among the vehicles sold in the Philippines that has been topping the charts since its introduction. With that, it’s only evident to see why it’s among the top used cars in Philkotsie that have a lot of listings. 

Coming in at third is the Fortuner, which is another Toyota model. Of all the midsize SUVs offered in the Philippines, the Toyota Fortuner is one of the contenders in the said segment. In fact, it has been one of the consistent top-selling SUVs in the Philippines.  

The top 5 used cars with the most number of listings are finished off by two Hondas, the Civic and the City. The two Hondas finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Philkotse October 2020 Auto Sales Report


Top 5 Most Inquired Used Cars in Philkotse

The top five most inquired used cars in Philkotse in October 2020 is led by the Toyota Fortuner with a total of 224,693 inquiries. This shows us that used car buyers in Philkotse are considering to purchase a midsize SUV due to its versatility and functionality.

Coming at second is the Honda Civic with 185,438 inquiries. Of note, the Honda Civic is the only non-Toyota vehicle in the five most inquired used cars in Philkotse. The third spot is held by the Toyota Vios with 167,750 inquiries. The fourth and fifth spots are claimed by the Toyota Innova (156,586 inquiries) and the Toyota Hilux (122,682).

Philkotse October 2020 Auto Sales Report

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The data shows that Toyota remains to be one of the most preferred brands in the used car market. Moreover, the data tells us the used car buyers in Philkotse are looking into purchasing utility vehicles such as the Fortuner, Innova, and the Hilux.

One reason for this is that the said vehicles offer practicality in terms of seating capacity as well as versatility in terms of cargo loading. The Fortuner and Innova are seven-seater vehicles that also come with generous cargo space.

On the other hand, the Toyota Hilux is a midsize pickup truck that offers a flexible cargo area while having a total seating capacity of up to five occupants. 

As such, you can conclude that used car buyers in Philkotse are searching for cars that can offer versatility, functionality, and practicality. 

Ending 2020 on a good note

Despite the setback that the local automotive industry had this year, the numbers are leaning towards the positive side. The unit sales for brand-new cars are steadily going up while the interest in used cars is also gaining momentum.

As such, the number of brand-new car unit sales in October 2020 and the increase in interest in used cars give the Philippine automotive industry the push it needed to bounce back and to start regaining its disrupted momentum. 

Visit to read more of the latest news and trends in the automotive industry.

Martin Aguilar

Martin Aguilar


Martin is the Content Editor of Philkotse. His love for cars first started when he got a remote-controlled toy as a birthday present. Then, Martin’s interest in cars was further developed through his family’s humble collection of Japanese cars.

Martin started his writing career as an editorial assistant and writer for various magazines under ABS-CBN Publishing. Before joining Philkotse, Martin was a writer for Autoindustriya then shifted gears in 2017 to become the editor for AutoDeal.

Aside from his interest in cars, Martin loves to read crime-thriller novels, play basketball in the virtual world, eat tapsilog, and go for random road trip adventures.

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