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Magical MIAS continues

Magical MIAS continues

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

Bigger show floor sets another record number of 162,000 visitors

For 19 years now, we’ve paid witness to the marvel and spectacle of the Manila International Auto Show. For that long a duration, at the back of our minds we wonder how come we haven’t grown tired of its pageantry year in and year out? Perhaps, equally, the dedicated men and women behind the show–for this long–have already mastered showmanship and every year, that daunting task of bringing over novelty, brands, people and pizzazz has entirely rested on their shoulders.

For this year, they didn’t disappoint. Perhaps, not ever. Never in recent memory that we could ever think of. Even during the two or three years of the pandemic, they have even managed to resort to a virtual platform of the show and even a thin skeletal system of event participation. Yes, they were not able to bring in the numbers that time and it’s quite understandable. But the novelty was there, or perhaps even the pizzazz–hence, the magic.

This just shows that despite the grimmest realities of life or of the world, or even the universe, that all you can just think of during those several years of the health crisis was how to survive and fend for your family, the organizers still never failed to show up. This alone showed character. Clearly, it showed what kind of caliber resonates within the core values of the men and women behind the show.

That’s why last year when restrictions were tempered and events were finally fully allowed, MIAS organizers, in a snap, were able to produce a whopping number of 149,000 visitors. They were able to grow by about 25 percent from the previous running record, smashing all their pre-pandemic numbers.

For 2024, the same story unfolded. After the curtains closed last Sunday, organizers were quick to do the math and numbers resulted in a count of 162,000 visitors, again breaking the record set last year.

The decision to hold another part of the show at the SMX Convention Center inside the SM Mall of Asia Complex was probably a big factor for another successful turnout.

This caused the show to stretch its footprint to an expansive 41,000 square meters, allowing more brands for their vehicle launches and test drive activities. Just imagine how they were able to expand since before the World Trade Center building alone only had 10,000 square meters of floor space.

Bigger show grounds, more brands

It was the first time for MIAS organizers to hold the show in two world-class venues simultaneously. Since the SMX Convention Center is situated within the confines of one of the most popular malls in the metro, producing foot traffic was a no-brainer. Restaurants, entertainment centers and other “things-to-do-after-the-show” abound. Parking was more convenient and proper reliable ventilation amid the scorching summer heat was ever-present.

This time, despite other usual brands not participating this year, organizers were able to fill the void by pitting in a whopping number of about 30 brands, namely: BAIC, BAW, Bestune, Changan, Chery, Chevrolet, DAF, Dongfeng, Foton, GAC, GWM, Hongqi, Hyundai, Hycan, JAC, Jetour, JMC, Lynk & Co, Kinglong, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Omoda & Jaecoo, Peugeot, Seres, Subaru, Suzuki, and Weichai.

Since there were countless vehicles being displayed at each of their stables, a fun and friendly competition of outdoing and outperforming each other for spectators’ attention thrived. Hence, more vibrant and colorful displays flourished.

As added excitement, even more scintillating and attractive models clad in classy clothing were there, not just as additional eye-candies, but to decently and properly represent their various respective brands. In fact, a fun contest was held wherein spectators were able to cast their votes for the most stunning models of the show. Dubbed as: “Miss MIAS,” this mini-pageant event was organized by the marketing and advertising team of this newspaper to promote the glamor, intellect, and charming personalities of these women.

Other highlights

Aside from the usual vehicle launches, the other highlights of the four-day affair added the flair and zing that make MIAS such a magical spectacle for everyone.

“Papa P” ‘N’-nergizing the show

First off, not only did Hyundai Motor Philippines win the best booth at the World Trade Center, the Korean brand was also able to showcase their ambassador and A-list star, Piolo Pascual. He was such a sight for sore eyes, particularly for the ladies, right beside the ‘N’ portfolio of Hyundai vehicles.

BAIC matinee idol flaunts for the ladies

Another matinee idol presented at the show that had members of the opposite sex screaming at the top of their lungs was BAIC Philippines’ newest ambassador, Ian Veneracion.

T2 for Senator Sotto

Senator Tito Sotto was also there to put some pizzazz to one Chinese brand, in particular, Jetour Auto Philippines, Inc. The marque’s one off-roader T2 vehicle was specifically reserved for the much-celebrated senator.

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Billionaire car guy in attendance

Another person worth mentioning gracing the show was billionaire, certified gearhead and former mechanic, Ramon Ang. Although he was not there as an entertainer, he came there for the sole purpose of fulfilling his appetite for cars and seeing them in all their glory in a bright, colorful display such as MIAS.

“Astara” of the Show

Amid the displays, another company that won the hearts of the judges for putting up a show was Astara Philippines, which had its booth at the SMX Convention Center recognized as the “Best” there. Its various portfolios of vehicles were seen there parading for the enjoyment of everyone.

All about performance

United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI) fully understands the value of customer satisfaction. And with the company’s newest lineup of brands under its belt, it was best to actually let the visitors try their hands on their vehicles at its own “universe” of test drives at its Performance Center right in front of the World Trade Center. This allowed spectators to be transported right at the heart of action as they personally got acquainted with vehicles from Foton, Chery, BAIC, and Lynk&Co.

Audiophiles’ haven

As for audiophiles, car shows are their blissful haven as non-stop ‘eargasmic’ music abound, and for MIAS, this was done for four days. As part of the fun entertainment they enjoyed, Omoda&Jaecoo had Filipino rock sensation Silent Sanctuary treat visitors of their booth to OPM mellows. Other brands such as Suzuki also had their own renditions of a mini-concert.

There were probably more amazing highlights to speak of. And perhaps, for more than the 160,000 visitors of the show, countless, meaningful stories awaited their families and friends back home about the magical and worthwhile moments they experienced at this year’s Manila International Auto Show. Now on its 19th year, it still truly deserves to keep the crown of being “The country’s biggest motoring show of the year.” Hands down.