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Powerhouse car display at Esjay Auto Group’s golden year

Powerhouse car display at Esjay Auto Group’s golden year

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

For the past 50 years, Esjay Auto Group (EAG) has been one of the key players in shaping the local automotive landscape. The company has been playing a vital role in the lives of millions of Filipinos. It has been serving in the sectors of automotive sales, parts and service, non-life insurance, retail financing, property management, service station, tires, batteries and accessories for five decades.

Now, to commemorate its Golden Year in the country, the company held the first-ever Esjay Auto Group Car (EAG) Expo at SM City Fairview from July 1 to 7. Aspiring to showcase the best local models, the grand car parade consisted of a nine-vehicle display at the mall’s Atrium. Not to mention eight test drive units at the open parking area.

Industry leaders and key players personally even took part of the activities. Nissan Philippines, Inc. president, Juan Manuel Hoyos; Hyundai Motor Philippines, Inc. President, Dong Wook Lee; Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. EVP for sales and marketing, Takanobu Suzuki; Sojitsu Fuso Philippines, president and CEO, Yosuke Nishi; Suzuki Philippines, Inc. automobile division director and GM, Norihide Takei; HARI Shared Services, Inc. vice president, Stephen Recinto; Foton Motor Philippines general manager, Levy Santos; East West Bank VP for auto loans and business division, Joy Legaspi, and Standard Insurance Corporation vice chairman and head of sales and marketing, Edith Sumanjit, graced the ribbon-cutting ceremonies to officially open the seven-day affair.

Local car and truckmakers eagerly participated in the event with their vehicle displays, such as: Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Changan, Foton, Chery, Jetour, Hyundai Trucks and Buses, and Fuso Trucks.

Nissan Patrol

First in the lineup of its grand car display was the new Nissan Patrol. Right off the bat, one can be awestruck by the first-class power and cutting-edge technology this behemoth can offer. It’s perfect for those who demand luxury, performance and capability found in full-sized sport utility vehicles.

At the onset, horizontal lines across its grille along its subtle curves exude that level of elegance. Its updated iconic V-shaped front grille complements its C-shaped LED daytime running lights and LED headlights.

At its rear are LED tail lamps with sequential turn signal lights. While Classy 20-inch alloy wheels with horizontal chrome slats cap its overall exterior panache. Inside, refined comfort with its plush leather-appointed seats and individual climate controls welcome occupants. Lathed with black wood veneer and upscale leather trim, the dash puts that sense of class further unto a pedestal. Moreover, a built-in cooler box is on hand for cold refreshments. Front and center is its 12.3inch advanced touchscreen display audio that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Top-of-the-line sound quality from its 13 Bose speakers further adds life to its cabin. Meanwhile, under its hood is a mighty 5.6-liter V8 engine, mated to a seven-speed automatic tranny, churning out 405 PS and 560 N-m of torque.

Apart from its top-notch off-road prowess with its variable 4×4 mode select shift on the fly, the vehicle is loaded with avant-garde safety features.

This banner vehicle at the display truly fitted the golden-year revelries of the occasion.

Foton Thunder

Next in the powerhouse lineup was the new-generation Foton Thunder. This milestone pickup for the Chinese brand now sports its own developed power mill, the 2.0-liter inline Aucan diesel engine, engineered in collaboration with British and Australian companies, which is far better than its old Cummins engine. This is then paired with an eightspeed automatic gearbox with a paddle shifter manual mode now churning out 160 horsepower and 380N-m of torque.

At the onset, its oozes with machismo. Its brutish and rugged profile begins up front with palpable brand name at its front end, paired with sharp LED cluster headlamps, matching its curves and lines sloping through its body. Other than its high wheel arches, a sturdy side step and other traits that exude its virility, its stylish panache is further enlivened by its aluminum alloy wheels.

It may be macho on the outside, inside — however — it presents another aspect of this pickup’s personality— style, substance, and a touch of class. It’s lathed with black leather seats with that diamond-shaped designs all over. They may not be elaborate ornaments but just rightly suited for the modern man.

Mitsubishi Xpander

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation’s local sales champion was also paraded at the expo. Its upgraded twotoned model was particularly grabbing the attention of onlookers.

Launched in 2018, the Mitsubishi model immediately made headlines at the time as it was introduced at the dawn of heavy tax reforms. Despite this, it still sold like hotcakes.

It catered to young families looking for their ideal car with a comfortable cabin, high ground clearance and various seat arrangements.

The Xpander was an instant bestseller for its class-leading body size, notable exterior and interior, and superior dynamic driving performance.

World champion Hyundai Ioniq 6

Adding more substance and quality to this powerhouse stable was the current World Car of the Year winner, Hyundai Ioniq 6. One can not simply deny the captivating charisma of this electric champion.

Everything about this full-electric vehicle is fascinating. From its cocoon-shaped design, sloping lines and futuristic yet sporty profile, all the way to every nook and cranny, one is just enamored.

It is one of the first Hyundai electric models to sport the electric-global modular platform, known as the E-GMP. The vehicle is also features Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology, which ensures customers can freely use or charge any electrical equipment while parked or on the move.

Plus, it’s state-of-the-art 800-volt battery technology is double the industry standard of 400-volt.

No word can simply describe this stunner. Imagine what a crowd-drawer this was during the seven-day display.

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Suzuki Ertiga Mild Hybrid

Another carmaker making its bold electrified statement in the local market is Suzuki Philippines. At the show, it, in fact, displayed its flagship Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid model. It’s still one’s usual lovable MPV. But, this time, it’s smarter and of course, greener.

For starters, this smart hybrid vehicle now packs a powerful, yet fuel-efficient 1.5-liter petrol engine that produces impressive torque for quick acceleration, proving Suzuki’s technology in every detail. The Integrated Starter Generator replaces the conventional alternator that has the functionality of charging the battery and electric motor while providing assistance during standing starts and acceleration.

Also, it has an Engine Auto Stop-Start System that automatically stops the engine when the vehicle is in idle to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption.

In one local fuel-efficiency competition, it even logged 26.3 kilometers per liter.

Chery Tiggo 8Pro Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Speaking of fuel-efficiency, Chery has its own electrified masterpiece with the Tiggo 8Pro plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This was also on full display at the expo.

The vehicle gets its fuel-efficiency prowess from its 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Euro V-compliant petrol engine working together with powerful twin electric motors and a state-of-the-art 19.27 kWh hybrid battery, the powertrain coupled to a special hybrid gearbox.

In fact, it sets new benchmarks in world-class fuel-efficient hybrid driving with as little as one liter of fuel consumed in up to 100 kilometers of driving.

The gasoline engine and electric motor both produce a combined 320 hp and a stunning 545 N-m of torque. This allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just under five seconds. It can be driven in pure electric vehicle mode with a driving range of up to 95 kilometers, which is ideal for daily city driving. Also, it takes as short as three hours charging time.

Other vehicles on display and test driven

Meanwhile, other vehicles on display were the automated-manual transmission (AMT) line of the FUSO Canter FE71, Changan and Jetour vehicle models, together with Hyundai buses and trucks.

All-in-all, the grand car display was a massive success, generating around 1,800 recorded inquiries.