Nielsen: 7 in 10 Filipinos will buy a car in the next 2 years

The local automotive industry can expect a surge in demand in the next two years as more Filipinos, most coming from the emerging middle class, plan to own new cars.

While only 47% in the country own a car or the fifth lowest globally, a new Nielsen survey reports that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries in the world who have shown the strongest intent to buy one.

Around 76% of Filipino respondents in the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Automotive Demand plan to acquire a new or used cars within the next two years, not far behind poll leaders Indonesia and Thailand with 81% and 79% respectively.

More than nine in 10 Filipino car owners (96%) also intend to upgrade their vehicle once they are financially able, as do 95% of car owners in Indonesia, 93% in Malaysia, 89% in Thailand and 87% in Singapore.

In comparison, the global average for intent is 65% while car upgrades is at 89%.

“Automotive demand in the Philippines has been relatively low and for many households owning a car has been financially out of reach,” observes Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen Philippines. “We, however, expect a more robust automotive demand in the coming years as more households join the middle class and reach the financial means to make their first car purchase.”

Most car owners in Southeast Asia see cars as an important symbol for their success to demonstrate their improving social status. Thai car owners ranked second highest globally for viewing their car as a status symbol (79%) together with Indonesia (67%, 10th highest globally.) This compares to 52% of consumers globally

Overall, the region still view their cars solely as a tool to get them where they are going. Eighty-eight percent of Singaporeans share this pragmatic view, followed by Filipinos (87%), Indonesians and Malaysians (85%) and Thais (82%).