Friday, November 2, 2012

Car Features - Cars That Filipinos Bought in 1998

While waiting for the next used car feature this monday, let's go back to memory lane and explore the year 1998. We could all remember the financial crisis struck the country, Erap was elected to stay in Malacanang, and the country celebrated 100 years of independence. Let's check what did the Filipinos purchased during that year, with figures courtesy of Top Gear Philippines and Best Selling Cars Blog.

From 160,000 plus units driving off showroom floors in 1996, only a half were driven off with 80,193 vehicles found an owner. Out of the ten, seven faced double digit decreases in sales while three vehicles are making their mark in the market.

Still at the top, the Toyota Corolla is the sales leader but selling 7,629 units and having a decline of 45%. The new generation sold in that year was called the "Love Life" but it didn't manage to capture the hearts of buyers in the following year, unlike the one which leads us to the second bestseller below.

6,352 Honda Civics are driven off Honda dealers with a decrease of 40%. This was less than the Corolla's 45% and surprisingly, it managed to sell well despite being older than the Corolla and Lancer, the two main competitors.

New to the country and to this list is the Mitsubishi Adventure with 6,319 units found an owner to an otherwise new nameplate. It managed to boot out the Toyota Tamaraw FX as the best selling AUV and the only one throughout the nameplate's history.

Next to the bigger Adventure is the Mitsubishi Lancer with 4,451 sales and 60% decrease. Among the sedans present here, it posted a huge decline.

At fifth spot is the Nissan Sentra which was treated to a minor model change in that year. Despite cosmetic changes and the addition of the base FE model, Sentra sales had fallen 57% with 3,879 units sold.

The second AUV not wearing a Toyota badge in this list is the Isuzu Hilander, with 3,617 sales and posting a 35% decrease. In fact, there are more Crosswinds sold than this one.

The only Korean vehicle in this list is the Kia Besta which saw 3,401 sales and posted a 31% decrease. For the record, this was the best selling full sized van from 1996-1998 which bested the veteran Mitsubishi L300.

An innovator for the compact SUV craze in the Philippines is the Honda CR-V, and despite the new name it managed to sell 3,181 pieces and thus, became the best selling compact until the arrival of the second generation Hyundai Tucson in 2010.

Two Toyotas of the same category occupied the last two slots and first is the Toyota Revo, despite being launched in the last part of 1998 found 3,118 owners. This dethroned the Corolla the following year and saved Toyota some sales.

The other one is the aging Toyota Tamaraw FX that saw a 75% decrease and selling 3,045 units. The following year or so, the brand axed this popular but old name.

While the mainstays experienced a slump in their sales, three models managed to make a splash in the Philippine automotive culture with the two stayed in production while the other one evolved as the Innova.

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