Text: Anton Andres / Photos: Brent Co, Mike Sabarre, Kelvin Christian Go | posted September 21, 2016 12:52
Welcoming the wave of new cars
It may only happen once every two years but the sixth edition of the Philippine International Motor Show delivered the goods this year. In five days, we saw the introduction of over a dozen new models that will enter the market, as well as a glimpse into the future with many concept cars from different manufacturers.
The show was kicked off by the president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), Atty. Rommel Gutierrez and guest of honor Sen. Ralph Recto to highlight the importance of the automotive industry in the local economy.
A sneak peek into the future
Toyota and Mitsubishi spiced up their booths with important concept cars. Mitsubishi displayed their XM concept which, the manufacturer says, combines the best of what MPVs and crossovers have to offer in a single package. It offers seating for seven with the bonus of extra ground clearance to tackle rough terrain. The best news is, the XM will eventually make production by late 2017.
Taking center stage at the Toyota booth was the FT-1 concept. The concept displayed is the very car that graced the 2015 North American International Auto Show and shows the brand's future direction in sports cars. This concept also serves as a preview for the upcoming Toyota Supra which was spotted testing a few weeks back.
Ready for race day
Aside from concept cars, brands were more than keen to highlight their motorsports heritage. Peugeot showcases this by formally opening Targa Manila, along with a pair of 208 GTIs dressed up as rally cars. Peugeot also revealed the driver lineup in the upcoming rally. Targa Manila sets off this weekend, September 24.
Fresh from a Vios Cup weekend, Toyota displayed one of the race cars in this year's PIMS. Honda meanwhile went all out by bringing in the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 car.
MPVs and crossovers galore
This year alone saw the introduction of seven MPVs and crossovers. BAIC introduced the M20 in PIMS as a low-priced seven seat MPV for the masses. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new V-Class, boasting of the brand's latest tech in one extended family-sized package. Crowds also flocked to the Volkswagen Caddy, expanding the automaker's MPV lineup to two models.
Over to crossovers and Honda marked the local debut of the BR-V, the brand's first compact seven-seat crossover. The BR-V slots in between the Mobilio and HR-V in terms of pricing as the Philippine market continues to veer towards crossovers as family cars.
Mitsubishi brought two new crossovers at this year's PIMS. During the show, they revealed the the facelifted ASX, now sporting the company's Dynamic Shield fascia, as well as the Outlander PHEV which highlights the latest Mitsubishi has to offer in the hybrid market. Jeep also joined the local small crossover market with their Renegade. Mazda meanwhile officially debuted the CX-3, serving as the smallest crossover the brand has to offer.
The D-Segment delivers
Crossovers and MPVs may have taken a big chunk out of D-segment sales but that did not stop manufacturers from debuting them at PIMS. Nissan quietly launched the updated Altima with its new V-Motion front fascia. Volkswagen on the other hand introduced the CC which serves as a sleeker version of their other D-Segment offering, the Passat.
Injecting performance in the Philippine market
PIMS 2016 wasn't all about practical MPVs, crossovers and sensible sedans. Performance cars also graced this year's show from Nissan, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
Nissan rocked their stage with the official arrival of the GT-R in the Philippines after years of anticipation. The updated Toyota 86 also made its first public appearance during the show. Taking center stage for Lexus was the LC 500h with the non-hybrid LC 500 ready for reservations.
Over to the Europeans, BMW displayed their plug-in hybrid sports car, the i8, along with an M Performance version of the 320d. Representing the sporting side of Mercedes-Benz is the Mercedes-AMG GT. Volkswagen also introduced a new variant of the Golf GTI dubbed the Oettinger Edition.
Onwards to 2018
Over a dozen cars were introduced in the sixth edition of the Philippine International Motor Show. As the local industry continues to grow, one can only imagine the next generation of cars that will be revealed in two years time. At the rate of progress we are having, we can all look forward PIMS 2018 as manufacturers show us the best they can offer.