Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted May 01, 2006 18:58
An astounding success
An astounding success on its second year for Worldbex International, the organizing committee for the Manila International Auto Show presented by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines. On its second year, the organizers decided to re-christened its event to the Manila International Auto Show as a more proper and global name than the previous Manila Motor Show. The event, which was held at the World Trade Center Manila, was participated by almost all major car manufacturers who displayed their latest offerings as well as previews of things to come in the near future. The concept of alternative fuels was also presented by some manufacturers to address the global energy crisis. An impressive display of cars from C! Publishing which reflects their different publications was also held at the lobby of the event hall.
Petroleum companies and aftermarket suppliers were also present in the event. Incidentally the oils companies were both of French origin which is a very unique coincidence; Total promoted their fuels and service stations as well as lubricants, while newcomer Motul presented to the public their high-performance lubricants and highlighted this thrust with their Ford GT40 and anniversary edition Nissan 350Z.
Model debuts were made by several automotive manufacturers. Cats Motors, local distributor of Mercedes Benz, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, came out with their new Chrysler Pacifica crossover and Jeep Commander SUV, the successor of the popular Jeep Grand Cherokee. Also a highlight for their display was the 300C HEMI which features the popular Dodge HEMI V8 engine and the new Mercedes Benz S-Class.
Ford highlighted their display with the Ford Focus ST 3-door hatchback, which features a 5-cynlinder turbocharged engine. Flanking it were kitted versions of its Escape, Fiesta, and Ranger, and the Focus diesel. Honda debuted their new 8th Generation Civic, displaying different variants to include a Mugen equipped 2.0-liter variant, USTC race car inspired variant, and the dealer option Modulo variant.
Hyundai made the public debut for its new Santa Fe SUV and displayed its CRDi powered lineup as well. Paving the way for more efficient and environment friendly diesel motoring. Kia launched its new Rio sedan, which features new European styling inspired by its new design center in Frankfurt.
Mazda heralded its success in the recently held Car of the Year Awards where the Mazda6 was honored the coveted Car of the Year for 2006, while the Tribute was awarded Best Entry Level SUV. Mitsubishi displayed the most comprehensive lineup in the show, coming up with the most debuts headed by the Pajero Evolution Dakar Rally Racecar, Eclipse, Lancer Evolution IX MR, Lancer 2.0-liter, new Strada pick-up truck, and the Zinger.
Nissan's display was highlighted by the recently introduced Murano SUV and flanked by its top-selling X-Trail as well as its light commercial vehicles. PGA Cars, distributor for Audi and Porsche highlighted its display with the Audi A4 and the recently introduced Porsche Cayman S and the Cayenne S. The Toyota pavilion displayed the new Previa minivan and the Toyota TF105 Formula One car which they hung on the wall.
Formula Sports Inc. (FSI), distributor of Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, and Land Rover displayed their latest offerings in the form of the Ferrari F430, Range Rover Sport, Jaguar XJ among others.
Aside from the automaker displays, two tents were set-up for aftermarket products and motorcycles. Companies like Du Pont, Eibach, Rota Wheels, Autoplus, A-toy, Bilstein, Xenon Bulbs, Thule, Concept One, Dubshop, Emperor, Tuason Racing School and many others displayed their aftermarket offerings and demo cars. AutoIndustriya.com was also present at the event in the aftermarket tent with support from Samsung Electronics Philippines, Audio World Inc., our friends Andrew Borlongan, and Jayvee Verdad.
A daily car display outside the entrance of the World Trade Center featured car clubs like the Mercedes Benz Club of the Philippines, BMW E30 Club of the Philippines, Manila Off-Roaders Inc., Girl Racers, and other clubs. Test drives of several car marques were also being conducted at the show grounds as well. Ford designed a special off-road course for testing the capabilities of its light trucks. The show has truly carved its presence in the automotive industry and with its latest success, the organizers have been inspired to give the public bigger and better shows to come.