A basketball-playing, swimming, and cooking weekend with the president of PGA Cars
Three things set PGA Cars, Inc. president Benedicto Ty Coyiuto apart from other car company CEOs who have been featured in this column: his comparatively young age (43), his being an ardent car enthusiast since boyhood, and his running two other business enterprises that have nothing whatsoever to do with cars.
For those unfamiliar with the automobile distributorship hierarchy in this country, PGA Cars, Inc. was incorporated in February 1996 by taipan Robert Coyiuto, Jr. Named after the initials of Prudential Guarantee Assurance, one of the largest non-life insurance companies of which Robert Coyiuto, Jr. is chairman and CEO, PGA Cars is the exclusive appointed importer and distributor in the Philippines of four luxury brands: Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley.
The second son of Robert Coyiuto, Jr., Benedicto T. Coyiuto – or BTC as he is called by business associates and staff – began his career in the automotive industry when he was assigned to head Audi PH in 2008 at the age of 30. He must have performed well on his first job, for in 2015 BTC was named president of PGA Cars while continuing to lead Audi PH and serve as Bentley Manila president. To date, BTC has logged 14 years of work in the auto industry.
Managing four elite car marques demands a lot of meticulous attention even on weekends and even in a lockdown economy. Since the first lockdown last year, BTC has mostly stayed at home and his outdoor sport activities have been accordingly limited.
ACTIVE AT HOME. “Still,” he narrates, “I have remained active even at home, doing some laps in our swimming pool before I start signing paperwork – mostly digitally, of course – sort through and respond to emails and other messages, hold online meetings with Audi, Bentley and PGA Cars personnel, as well as the regional offices of Audi and Bentley, strategize with the management teams – attending to my daily work routine.”
Afterwards as the day ends, BTC unwinds by playing basketball with his kids in a private court built behind their house. Or he watches Netflix and NBA, and sometimes plays video games with his children. When the pandemic restrictions ease, he looks forward to hitting the course again with some close friends for a round of golf or playing badminton with them.
COOKING. Meanwhile, working from home has allowed BTC to share with his family what were purely weekend activities before, like having lunch and dinner together. “We are a family that truly loves good food, to the point that I actually have my own chain of restaurants named 8 Treasures,” he reveals. BTC’s restaurants serve Chinese fare like dimsum, roast goose and duck that, he claims proudly, can compete with the popular restaurants in Hong Kong.
BTC also runs a grocery selling top-quality meat and vegetables as well as hard-to-find food items. They regularly have these at mealtime, plus other cuisines. And – surprise! – BTC likes to cook: “Because I am always at home, I have started to cook more and more dishes for my wife and kids. This is something I enjoy doing a lot.”
While BTC does not follow any strict diet, he does watch what he eats and sticks to healthier choices. “I notice this helps me stay more active and feel good,” he says.
SUPER WAGON. One would expect that car buff BTC, having four luxury brands at his command, would choose a spectacular sports car like a Lamborghini as his favorite ride. But his top pick, the car he misses driving most during this lockdown era, is a station wagon.
Not just any station wagon, but a super-speed wagon: a 5-seater Audi RS (Racing Sport) 6 Avant, which has been with him for over a decade now.
“Being a high-performance station wagon, the RS6 Avant is perfect at taking in golf bags or weekend stuff while also delivering the thrills of a supercar, thanks to its phenomenal V10 engine and quattro all-wheel-drive,” BTC enthuses. “It really is a fantastic car to drive in Metro Manila or out of town. That is why I’m looking forward to driving the all-new RS6 Avant, which arrived late last year. With a new twin-turbo V8 and quattro system, it’s even more powerful than the RS6 Avant I now own, so surely it will be even more thrilling to drive.”
Indeed, the Audi RS6 Avant is perfect for a car company CEO like Benedicto T. Coyiuto who happens to be a car enthusiast because 1) he enjoys high-performance driving, and because 2) he enjoys driving with his family.
Aida Sevilla Mendoza is fascinated by everything about cars: their power, styling, design, technology, craftmanship, exciting history of motor sport through the years, and the ever-evolving industry that creates them. But above all, she enjoys driving, especially on a traffic-free expressway where she feels the connection bonding her and the car.