And so, the first quarter of the year is over, and already we're seeing which car brands will do well this year (and which ones will disappoint). Here are the sales results from March, as well as the year-to-date figures, based on reports from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors.
* The top three (Toyota, Mitsubishi and Hyundai) seem to be firmly secure in their respective spots, and it looks like they'll cruise through the calendar year in those positions unthreatened.
* If you're wondering why Toyota's numbers here are slightly different from the official CAMPI report, that's because we're deducting Lexus sales and posting these separately.
* Suzuki's tally is off by four units. After February, the company's reported year-to-date number was 645. If you add its declared March figure of 398, the current year-to-date tally should be 1,043 and not 1,047 (as indicated by the CAMPI report).
* UMC has overtaken Kia after selling 576 units in March, more than a couple of hundred units better than the Korean brand's performance.
* Subaru has likewise leapfrogged NMPI after a strong 236-unit month.
* Mazda is slowly but surely regaining ground in our market, selling a much-improved 182 units last month.
* In the luxury segment, Mercedes-Benz reported an incredible 76 units for March, in the process pulling ahead of both BMW and Lexus.
* We continue to give PGA Cars an asterisk because we have no idea how to break down its total into the various brands that it carries (Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche). The 33 units the company reported for March probably included units sold in February. The multibrand distributor didn't submit a report the last time around.