Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted September 01, 2007 18:58
Shifting to higher gear
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) recently put together the First Philippine International Motor Show held at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) from August 9-12, 2007. Officially opened by guest-of-honor Senate President Manny Villar, the first industry organized motor show attracted over fifty thousand visitors to the nearly ten-thousand square meter complex which housed a total of 12 major car brands which showcased their latest offerings and a sneak peak into their future vehicles. A total of 28 companies representing the aftermarket, auto parts, auto service and media also put up their respective displays in the four-day event.
The highlights of the show were the concept cars brought in by some of the manufacturers present at the show. Kia brought in their Soul concept car, Mitsubishi brought in two, the CT MIEV and the Concept X, and Toyota brought it the FT-SX Crossover SUV and a cutaway version of their Prius Hybrid car. Sneak previews of the new Hyundai Starex, Mitsubishi Lancer EX, Mitsubishi Strada 3.2L, Nissan Grand Livina MPV, and Nissan Frontier Navara were also an added attraction to potential car buyers, giving them more options to choose from.
Aside from the concept cars and sneak previews, there were also special displays and seminars. Honda flew in their humanoid robot ASIMO and held photo sessions with show visitors. The country's leading automotive website AutoIndustriya.com officially launched its logo and newly redesigned website to the public at the show and brought in their own special display in the form of a heavily modified Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) which is also featured in the website's Tuned section./
Added highlights to the show were the Automobilia exhibit featuring vintage car memorabilia which included posters, artworks, photographs, automotive brochures, manuals, apparel, and automotive parts from 1982 and older. A die-cast car exhibit featuring themed displays of 1:64 scale cars was also one of the eye catchers in the show. A Transport Design Competition was also held to discover new transportation design talents within the Philippines. Participating schools were CSB, Feati, Mapua, PUP, TUP, UP, and UST.
Audi unveiled its new S5 sports coupe, which arrived just days before the show, which they flanked with the A4 and Q7. Chevrolet unveiled their new Capitva compact SUV was flanked with their lineup, which included the new Suburban, and Tahoe. Honda highlighted their display with a green theme featuring its Civic Hybrid. Isuzu displayed their recently introduced Global D-Max pickup flanked by the Alterra, Crosswind and its truck and powertrain products. The truckmaker also displayed its new concept CNG NPR truck.
Kia launched four vehicles, the new Spectra sedan, Carnival CRDi, Sorento CRDi and Carens CRDi. Nissan UMC highlighted their Frontier Navara display further with the Philippine Mount Everest team dropping down from the ceiling of the exhibition hall. Porsche displayed the newly facelifted Cayenne SUV and the Cayman S. Toyota held its public launch for the new Vios compact sedan and displayed accessorized versions of its Fortuner, and Innova. Volvo took the opportunity to launch two new vehicles, the sporty C30 hatchback and the C70 convertible.
The show was an astounding success with dignitaries from the government, foreign diplomats and foreign manufacturer representatives gracing the opening ceremonies. CAMPI President Miss Elizabeth H. Lee expressed much delight with the turnout of the event despite being threatened by a big typhoon, just a few days prior to the opening day.