An increase in the number of test drives and quotations request, as well as general inquiries, have been noted during the first quarter of the year, indicating higher interest in car purchases.

In the AutoDeal Industry Insights Q1 2019 report, the total online car buying inquiries are up by 12 percent compared to the same period last year, and up by 13.66 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018.

“This shows a significant increase in the interest of online car buyers, which has been an upward trend since 2015,” AutoDeal said.

Apart from the increased interest of the car buyers, the spike in the total number of leads could be attributed to the enhancements employed onto the AutoDeal platform, which resulted to 6,869,051 website visits in the first quarter of 2019 – up by 6.71 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018.

This resulted in a total of 80,820 inquiries through the AutoDeal platform, which converted to a total of 3,245 confirmed purchases that were tracked and confirmed from those who used AutoDeal in purchasing their cars.

The Industry Insights Q1 2019 report also saw a record-breaking number of inquiries in March. Garnering more than 30,000 leads sent over to its partner dealers, March 2019 outperforms other months since AutoDeal has started.

Of all the inquiries received in the first quarter of 2019, subcompact cars and AUVs/MPVs remain to pique the interest of online car buyers. This can be attributed to the popularity of new nameplates like the Mitsubishi Xpander and Toyota Rush, which are both under the category of AUVs/MPVs.

Subcompact cars, on the other hand, remain as the frontrunners due to their competitive pricing and relative affordability.

However, there was a decrease in the number of inquiries for both AUVs/MPVs and subcompact cars. In contrast, pickup trucks, whether used for lifestyle or business, continue to take a bigger piece of the pie – a trend that has started since the exemption from the revised excise tax rates have been employed in 2018, resulting to more attractive pricing of this vehicle type.

The increase in inquiries for pickup trucks coincides with the fact that the average price of vehicles sold on AutoDeal in the first quarter of 2019 was P1,259,545, well within the price range of mid-variant pickup trucks.

“The way we see it, the pickup truck segment will continue to flourish through the course of 2019 if the competitive pricing carries on,” AutoDeal said. – Manila Bulletin