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Auto sales hit 10-year high in January -- Campi means BUSINESS

MANILA - Auto sales hit a decade-high in January as demand for motor vehicles rose by more than a fourth from a year ago.

In a statement, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) said member-firms sold 15,642 units last month, up from 12,303 units in January 2013.

"Last month's sales performance is so far the highest January sale ever achieved by the industry after comparing all January record in the last 10 years," Campi said without providing details.

Commercial vehicles comprised two-thirds of industry sales at 10,335 units, a 27 percent increase from the 8,113 a year ago.

Passenger car sales grew by nearly the same pace at 26 percent to 5,298 units this year from 4,190 last year.

"January has always been a slow month following a hectic sales period in December.  However, new product launches in the last quarter of 2013 and extended promo packages continued to attract buyers well into the new year," Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said.

"If the January sales performance is an indication of things to come, we can expect another record setting year as the industry gears up for more new product launches and bigger activities, such as the much awaited 5th Philippine International Motor Show in September," Gutierrez said.

Of Campi's member-firms, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp (TMPC) still led the pack with a 45 percent share of the local market, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp with 22 percent.

Ford Motor Philippines was the third top seller with nearly a seven percent share of the domestic market.