MANILA, Philippines - Sales of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) rose 14% to 28,400 units in 2012 from 24,880 units in the previous year.
"Consumer confidence is heightened on the back of the remarkable expansion in the industry and service sectors, build-up of overseas Filipino remittances, and holiday and election spending," AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said in a statement.
Passenger car sales reached 16,284 units in 2012, up 18% from 2011's 13,806 units, while light commercial vehicle sales grew 9% to 12,116 units from 11,074 units.
AVID said the expected credit rating upgrade this year will further drive sales in 2013.
"Expectations of increased credit rating upgrade in 2013 should further boost sales outlook for the Philippine automotive industry this year," AVID said.
In December last year, Standard & Poor's hiked its outlook on the country's credit rating to positive, hinting an upgrade is possible within the next year. S&P rates the country BB+, one notch below investment grade.
The country is also rated a notch below investment grade by Fitch Ratings, which in June last year affirmed the Philippines' BB+ rating with a stable outlook.
Moody's Investors Service currently rates the country Ba2, two notches below investment grade, although it raised its outlook to positive from stable in May last year.