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Mazda towers above the other brands at the PIMS with a colossal Aztec-inspired 3-storey exhibit

Mazda towers above the other brands at the PIMS with a colossal Aztec-inspired 3-storey exhibit

Alvin Uy

In the highly-competitive local automotive industry, your company needs to stand out among the more than 20 brands that compete for a share in the market place. In the proverbial market pie of things, this analogy applies also to major automotive events like the recently-concluded revival of the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

We met with Mazda Philippines president Steven Tan on the last day of the PIMS and asked him about his thoughts on how he and his team managed to pull off one of the most challenging executions in local automotive show history.

The Mazda pavilion had many firsts, including staging a three-storey Aztec-temple style half-pyramid with three levels showcasing the Mazda vehicle lineup and a special heritage exhibit of a very pristine first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata NA model owned by Miata Club of the Philippines founding president Eddie Salonga.

Mazda’s management team with the Brand On Demand staff and the Mazda promotional models.

Just like Rome, this wasn’t built in one day. But what was amazing was that this build design concept called Waterfall took only 40 manpower hours.

“We finished it in 40 hours straight, from September 12 at 6 am to the 14th at 10 pm. We employed over 350 people, working across 4 shifts. In 2017, we already built a 3-level display at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) but this elevation is the highest we had ever built, to accommodate a basement gallery for the first-generation Miata heritage display,” said James Duran, the president of Brand on Demand (BOD), the company Mazda PH hired to do the job.

BOD is the leading events contractor in the business, and they are considered one of the best in the field.

“From planning the sequence of ingress using the Critical Path Method to how booth came in pre-assembled parts and making sure that the structure would be able to carry load of display units and visitors, we over-compensated and over-computed for everything to make sure we have a proper and stable structure for Mazda.”

Being an industry observer and motor show organizer for almost two decades, I would say that this must be some kind of record. Although there was no formal awarding of the “Best Booth” set up in PIMS, a lot of the members of the media who attended the event agree that this was definitely the best booth, award or no award.  Mazda received the “Best Booth” award in 2017 for the execution, which was also built by BOD.   

In line with the show’s theme, “Mobility + Humanity: Innovating for the Common Good,” Mazda said it brings its latest product offerings at the most anticipated motor show in the country, highlighting the brand’s Human Centric approach to design and engineering. “With this unique way of thinking, we do not offer technology simply for the sake of it, but it must offer a tangible benefit to the driver. This ultimately is our brand essence,” Tan explained.

As Mazda PH’s visionary, Tan intended to have a minimalist design of warm, nature-inspired elements such as wood is juxtaposed with the technical sophistication of steel and glass. Together with the use of warm lighting elements, it is meant to convey beauty through the interplay of light and shadow, a defining trademark of the KODO design language.

The “waterfall effect” wasn’t a stream of water but rather, the booth cascaded Mazda’s latest premium models, the Mazda3 M Hybrid, CX-30 M Hybrid, CX-5 AWD Turbo, and CX-9 AWD Turbo Exclusive. It also held a debut of an accessorized version of the BT-50 4×4 pickup, the new CX-8 AWD Exclusive, and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Miata Club of the Philippines (MCP), the MX-5 MCP 25th Anniversary Edition.

Unveiling of MX-5 MCP 25th Anniversary Edition

Further highlighting their attention to design detail, Mazda collaborated with fashion designer Andrea Tetangco to create one-of-a-kind couture for the promotional models. Known for her minimalist design that empowers women, Tetangco is also focused on crafting pieces with sustainability and innovation in mind.

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“As the only car manufacturer to officially recognize a car club, the MX-5 MCP 25th Anniversary Edition is the culmination of our unique relationship. It is an example of how we want to build, Kizuna which is a lasting, almost inseparable bond an owner has with his car,” added Tan.

The MX-5 MCP 25th Anniversary Edition is exclusively in Platinum Quartz Metallic with a Navy Blue soft top. Navy Blue accents are also found on the side mirrors and roll hoops. Satin Silver 17-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior transformation. It features a specially made Mazda Connect Commander knob finished in Sterling Silver. It also comes with a Serial Number Plate also finished in Sterling Silver. Additional features such as black leather seats, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, and a 9-speaker Bose sound system are installed. Each unit will also include a commemorative car cover and the MCP 25th Anniversary Photobook.

Was it all worth it?

Tan went all in when he said: “We felt the investment was justified, given that the last PIMS took place four years ago, and that all participating brands have their story to tell, just like us. It is important to send a clear message to the visiting public that the auto industry is bullish, is exciting, and is glamorous and all of us are here to fulfill a dream. We have to give them an occasion to celebrate. After all the ticket of entry is 200 pesos.”

MAIN PHOTO: Fashion designer Andrea Tetangco joins Mazda Philippines president Steven Tan on stage after presenting her one-of-a-kind couture for Mazda’s promotional models.