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The Philippine International Motor Show and beyond

The Philippine International Motor Show and beyond

Campi’s biennial event isn’t just for show; it’s a 4-day window to the auto brands’ future


What A-game will each participating brand bring to the table?

Well, first things first, that table has to be humongous. Last Aug. 30, the press conference for the 8th edition of the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) set expectations high. With thousands of visitors projected to troop to the World Trade Center in Pasay City from tomorrow until the 18th, 13 of the country’s biggest auto manufacturers and distributors will put their best foot forward, showcasing their latest vehicles and cutting-edge technologies. PIMS’ four-year absence—no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic—means that there will be a lot of ground to cover, for both visitors and brands.

Expect exclusive car launches and displays in the brand booths and daily presentations of the country’s leading auto manufacturers. Spectators and guests can look forward to test driving some of the latest vehicles in the market.

Aftermarket retail booths will also be given prominent space, as special parts and service appointments will be offered to the public. Several car clubs will hold car meets and family activities at the show.
Thus, as the motoring public presses the “reset button” and a semblance of normalcy returns to our roads, a lot of purchasing decisions will be made here.

For the participating brands, however, there’s really no going back to the “old normal”. This year’s PIMS focuses on introducing innovations that will provide safer, more efficient and sustainable mobility to the people, with the theme “Mobility + Humanity: Innovating for the Common Good”.

Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (Campi) president Atty Rommel Guttierez has said, “Despite the challenges, we are positive that the industry is on its way to revival and recovery as evidenced by the double-digit growth in the past month with an 18.4-percent increase in vehicle sales year-to-date. Currently, we are almost at 57 percent of our annual industry target. In line with this, we are happy to bring back the much-awaited PIMS, gathering the industry’s biggest car manufacturers to showcase how the latest vehicles and mobility innovations can drive us towards a better and more sustainable future.”

Here’s what visitors can expect to see at the PIMS beginning tomorrow until the 18th, and beyond these dates, on our local roads soon.

BMW iX battery electric vehicle

Spencer Yu, president of SMC Asia Car Distributor Corp, said: “The BMW iX is the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that BMW introduced here in the Philippines last April, and the reception by the general public has been overwhelming for BEVs. This is a very good indication and is also in line with the PIMS show this year.

“This is a very good step towards sustainable motoring, and I think sustainability is also something very important as a member company of San Miguel Corp as this is one of our big values.”

Yu urges for the proper establishment of infrastructure for electrified motoring.

“We want to be able to promote sustainability (for the long term), and electrification is one of the answers for these. There are many kinds of electrification, whether it be BEVs, plug-in hybrids or hybrids. Moving forward, we can expect more BEVs from BMW, and the iX is just the first. Together with the rest of the Campi members who are also working towards an electrified future, we also need to take a look at the proper infrastructure to be able to operate these EVs.”

Chery’s PHEV

The Tiggo 8 Pro is Chery Philippines’ first plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) in the market. Rommel Sytin, chair of the United Asia Automotive Group Inc (UAAGI), said: “The (market) acceptance of the Tiggo8 PHEV was very good. We commit and we will remain steadfast in our vision of providing mobility solutions that are future-proof, regardless of uncertain market forces that may affect mobility such as unstable prices of fuel. We believe that our PHEV technology is at the core of that solution. Hopefully, we will be able to assemble EVs with Senate Bill 1382 being approved as a law. I hope all the groundworks that will be laid down as well as the other Campi manufacturers will look into it. We are also continuing our dealership expansion program.”

Foton’s EV trucks

The Foton truck brand was prominent even during the pandemic. Erroll Duenas, president of Foton Motor Philippines Inc, explained that the brand also laid the foundation for efficient and effective transport logistics during that time. “The country was devastated by the pandemic and our movement at that time was very limited. Filipinos were highly dependent on logistics and mobility, so Foton was, and still is, in the right place, at the right time to meet the huge demands of Filipinos.

“At the height of the pandemic, first, we launched and strengthened our tri-digital platforms–the Foton website, the Foton mobile application and our digital showroom. Second, we made sure to cater to the changing demands of the Filipino motoring public through our capacity to customize and tailor-fit products based on the customer’s needs. Third, we gave our customers peace of mind by providing them the 24/7 after-sales onsite support through what we call the ‘EC Mobile’.

“Lastly, we are planning to bring in our hydrofuel and EV trucks which have excellent mobility solutions for Filipinos looking to save on fuel costs and save the environment.”

Geely’s highest monthly sales

Geely, one of Campi’s newest members, is currently enjoying record sales.

Yugo Kiyofuji, president and CEO of Sojitz G Auto Philippines Inc, said: “Being accepted as a Campi member does mean a lot for us. We have been accepted well in the Philippine market. We have recorded the highest monthly sales in July with four digits and actually, in September, we are going to welcome the third anniversary since we started to sell our vehicles here in the Philippines.”

Geely was already offering its hybrid vehicles since it started operations in the country. “We do have the EV vehicle model lineup already, and we have been closely monitoring the market demands and customer demands in this market. So it’s just a matter of which model and when to launch,” Kiyofuji added.

Honda and carbon-free motoring

Masahiko Nakamura, president of Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI), described that the latest automotive technologies being developed and applied benefit not only motorists, but society in general.

“PIMS is a chance for us to show new models and new technologies, and I think most of the brands have targeted a collision-free and carbon-free society, so (with Honda), I think you can also see our future introducing advanced technologies for the good of society.”

Hyundai ‘reboot’

Eric Lee, president of Hyundai Motor Philippines Inc, said: “PIMS will be a great venue to relaunch the Hyundai brand here in the Philippines. Also through Campi, we will commit to high-quality products and enhance the after-service and enhance the customer experience in the Philippine market.”

Isuzu electrified

Isuzu, long-known for its superior diesel-powered trucks and LCVs, revealed that it has been closely monitoring EV developments in the country.

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Noboru Murakami, president of Isuzu Philippines Corp (IPC), said: “Isuzu is already in the development of electrification technologies as its initiatives for the commercial industry. As for Isuzu in the Philippines, we are closely monitoring and cooperating with the Philippine government concerning the activities and progress of EVs. We want to make sure that we can introduce models in the Philippine market with available infrastructures such as charging stations. We will be watching very carefully what is going on so that we prepare for the coming of EVs.”

Kia’s industry assessment

Manny Aligada, president of KP Motors Corp, said: “The past several years have presented to us major challenges, and there are many lessons learned. Number 1: Customers are always there–-they never leave us and therefore, we should never leave them; Number 2: You should always be with your customers. Even at the peak of the pandemic, we felt the need for mobility which is very consistent with the theme for this year’s PIMS and I think it takes off from the lessons of the pandemic.

“Even at our lowest point, there was a lot to do. People were busy in the automotive industry across the brands that we have. Where you felt the need for time to catch up on so many things, that presented a time to introspect on strategy, operations where you can catch up on. In Kia, we did exactly that. For example, when we had issues on parts, on after-sales, it was our time to recover. We brought in parts when traffic was very low and when the economy opened, then we were better prepared and ready for the customer requirement. And I think everybody did that—people training, when’s the best time to do that? When you’re at an ebb.  And that’s exactly what I think all the players in the industry did—a mutual beneficiary setup between customers and brands.”

Mazda Mild Hybrid

Saul Babas, sales and marketing manager of Bermaz Auto Philippines Inc, said, “The Mazda M hybrid or the Mild hybrid is available for the Mazda 3 and Mazda CX30. Actually, for the M hybrid, it is paired with our already fuel-efficient Skyactiv direct injection engine with a belt driven integrated starter generator or what we call ISG. So this ISG captures energy normally wasted during braking and this energy flows back to the engine to give more horsepower. It will not deter any driving experience or engagement of the driver while driving a Mazda vehicle.”

Mitsubishi, on excise taxes

Takeshi Hara, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp, said: “The excise tax exemption has a very short-term and long-term impact in our industry. For us, we will continue to look after our production so that we need to continue to contribute to Philippine society.

“Across the industry, we need to coexist with nature and the environment to make the automotive and mobility industry, in the near future, more sustainable. That point I want to request (more support) from the government.”

Nissan’s e-Power

Dax Avenido, general manager for communications for Nissan Philippines Inc (NPI), said: “For us, we know that electrification is the future of mobility and a lot of developments are being done right now by different manufacturers especially for Nissan to improve electric mobility for our country. And I guess, answering the question related to mobility and humanity, that’s one of our pitches as Nissan—mobility has to work with humanity as well and that’s where development for such technologies should come from. Now that we will be participating once again, we do not want to miss this opportunity to showcase the product and of course the strength of the company in electrification, and one of the features that we will be doing is to highlight the e-Power.

“There are three things that we can say about how e-Power can contribute or improve one’s driving experience. The first one is, of course, being able to drive 100-percent electric because this is an electric motor engine. Number two is quietness, so unlike the other models of such technologies, you can expect that the engine is only running when you need it because it’s 100-percent run by electric engine or electric motor. And then the third one is basically about fuel efficiency, based on our test, you can actually run about a thousand kilometers in one full tank in an e-power. So on average we got 22 to 25 km per liter.”

Suzuki’s hybrid

Norihide Takei, general manager for Automobile, Suzuki Philippines Inc, said: “We are excited to present to the market the Suzuki Hybrid vehicle. We may not be able to confirm exactly yet which model to offer, but we promise to show a good model candidate during the motor show. This ensures cost-efficient ownership with its advanced technology that helps increase fuel efficiency and enhance driving performance.”

Toyota’s sustainability plans

Atsuhiro Okamoto, president of Toyota Motor Philippines Inc, said: “Two things we are always talking about are sustainable growth of our automobile industry and contribution to the Filipino society. So we keep producing locally and (generate) employment in the Philippines.”