Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co, Mike Sabarre | posted September 01, 2008 18:58
Towards safer and cleaner motoring
Building on the success of the first ever Philippine International Motor Show, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) recently held the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show once again at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on August 21-24, 2008. This year's event was guested by no less than the President of the Republic of the Philippines herself, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies. The President lauded the auto chamber for their support of government programs like the Green Philippines Program and securing jobs for thousands of Filipino workers and also urged them to come out with hybrid and alternative fuel cars. She also promised to crack down on vehicle smuggling in support of the auto industry.
Themed "Drive The Future Towards Safer and Cleaner Motoring," manufacturers showcased some of their advanced hybrid technology vehicles, electric vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicles as possible solutions for the energy crisis and also in creating a sustainable environment. This year's show also featured the public launches of some of the most awaited vehicles in the local automotive market as well as previews to upcoming vehicle models. Sharing the limelight with the cars were the equally stunning beauties from classic Pinay to the new Brazilian fad that accompanied them. Some manufacturers like Hyundai wowed the crowd with Regine Velasquez performing at their media presentation, while Jay Cayuca, renowned violinist, highlighted PGA Cars' presentation.
With fifteen of the top automotive brands underneath one roof, the event was like a car enthusiasts wet dream. Audi highlighted their display with the R8 supercar, which was a popular for photos with the crowd. BMW had several cards under its sleeve despite the minimalist display area; the new X6 was publicly introduced, flanked by the new 1 series convertible, and 3 series coupe equipped with BMW performance package. Chevrolet brought alternative fuel options from their lineup to include the Epica Diesel, Optra CNG, Malibu Hybrid and Tahoe Hybrid. Ford launched the new generation Escape SUV and highlighted their flex-fuel capable vehicles in line with the show's theme. Honda highlighted their display with the launch of the new Jazz subcompact. Hyundai's new flagship sedan, the Genesis took center stage flanked by the i10 and i30. Isuzu released their new limited D-Max Boondock Edition and yet another iteration of the Crosswind, this time in a pink colored Lady Edition.
Kia highlighted its display with the Sportage FCEV, and the Mohave SUV, which recently had its global premiere at the North American International Motor Show. Mazda featured its flex-fuel capable Mazda3 and its entire range of vehicles. Mitsubishi was perhaps the most visible with its glowing look, being the best-lit pavilion, and also featuring some of the most number of highlights as well. The brand launched its new tagline Drive @ Earth and invited three-time Dakar Rally Champion Stephane Peterhansel, who also signed autographs for hundreds of fans who lined up at the Mitsubishi pavilion. Also on display was the i-MIEV electric vehicle, 1974 Rally Lancer, Lancer Evolution X, new generation Galant and the Concept MS, which was a primer on their upcoming Montero Sport SUV. Nissan embodies the green theme to its presentation as they introduced the Nissan Green Program. On display were accessorized versions of current models such as the Grand Livina, Patrol, Teana, X-Trail. Universal Motors added a little bit more to the equation with the newly configured 21-seater Urvan targeted for enterprising Filipinos in line with its Ur Van Ur Business program and the Nissan Navara Challenge where participants competed in several challenges to bring home a special gift package consisting of Navara premium items.
Porsche debuted the new Cayenne Turbo S. Suzuki displayed the Swift Rally Car and also launched the manual transmission version of the subcompact as well as the updated Grand Vitara XL7. Toyota further highlighted its hybrid technology with the A-BAT concept as well as the Hybrid Synergy Drive simulator. On display were the new generation Land Cruiser and the facelifted Hilux pickup truck. To mark its 20th anniversary, a Vios XX Limited Edition was also launched. Volvo launched the new XC60 SUV with innovative safety features like the City Safety, Pre Prepared Restraints and Collision Warning with Autobrake.
Car Clubs were also present as they met at the driveway area of the World Trade Center. Participating clubs were the Toyota Auto Club of the Philippines, Altis Club, Picanto Club Philippines, Ford Club of the Philippines, Mazdatech Philippines, Club Nissan Sentra, Tucson Club Philippines, Vios Club Philippines, MitsuLancerPh, Chevrolet Club Philippines, Alterra Owners Club, Grupo Toyota, Miata Club of the Phils., Nissanbayan, and MyMitsuPh. Apart from the overload of cars were seminars on road safety by the Honda Safety Driving Center; Fuel Efficiency, Road Traffic and Safety and Hybrid Technology by Toyota; Family and Safety Security Program by Volvo; Motorsport 101 seminars about Off-Roading, Drifting, Slalom, Circuit Racing, Drag Racing, Karting, Rally, Hillclimb, Race Car Preparation and Team Management from the top names in Philippine Motorsport; and Technical Workshop Seminars from Meguiar's Philippines, Air Art Asia and Tartarini LPG Systems.
Another highlight of the event was the 2nd Transport Design Competition, which was participated by students of the country's top technical and design schools. There were also automotive lifestyle events such as automotive photography, in-mobile entertainment exhibition, die-cast and scale model exhibits, and fine artists' sessions. All these and more were just some of the highlights of the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show, something the Philippine automotive industry can truly be proud of.