There's no reason why the Philippines shouldn't be on the motor show map. The industry, although still weaker compared to its heyday in the nineties, is on the up and up. Several manufacturers have begun exporting products either in parts or as Completely Built-Up (CBU) units to Asian neighbors. And with the countless new models and variants expected this year, 2005 is definitely the year of the automobile.

So while a close neighbor, Bangkok, is enjoying an internationally renowned motor show for several years now, Manila will be playing host to what's quoted to be the first-ever industry centered motor show this April 28 to 30. Dubbed 'The Manila Motor Show', this is the first motor show to actually have the Philippine capital's name on it. Organized by Worldbex International, the same group behind other successful exhibition shows, it will be an international-quality motor show and the biggest motoring event of the year.

The Manila Motor Show will be held at The World Trade Center along Roxas Boulevard in Manila from 10 am to 10 pm. The show will encompass the entire 5,000 square-meter space of both World Trade Center exhibition halls and will be home to these major brands (confirmed as of press time): BMW Automobiles, BMW Motorrad, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Hummer, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan (Universal Motors Corporation), Peugeot, Ssyang Yong, Toyota and Volvo.

Several of these exhibitors will unveil new and future cars at the show. Although still veiled in secrecy, there are some who took the liberty to give some tantalizing details on what they're slated to bring in. CATS Motors, the Philippine distributor of Chrysler, Dodge and Mercedes-Benz cars will be bringing in their new 250-hp Chrysler 300C. They're also slated to showcase their new Dodge Durango SUV. Ford will be parading the award-winning 1931 Model A and a future model, while its sister company, Mazda will be taking the wraps off its RX-8 sports car. Peugeot will re-launch the 307SW and 807 to the public, while Kia and Hyundai will go practical with new common rail diesel-powered variants of their Sorento and Matrix respectively. Hyundai will also show off additional new models including the Getz and Tucson SUV. Volvo will be bringing in its high-performance S60R for the discerning car enthusiast.

Aside from the major distributors and manufacturers, The Manila Motor Show will have the latest aftermarket parts and accessories as well. Several exhibitors will be dazzling the crowd with customized set-ups of popular models for the perfect ride. The Car Awards Group (CAGI) will also showcase the ten category winners of their recent Car of the Year Awards (CoTY), headlined of course, by the overall winner, Honda Accord V6.

The Manila Motor Show will give visitors a chance to try several vehicles with special test drives around The World Trade Center. Ford will even have a special off-road track built for people to try out the abilities of their No Boundaries family of SUVs. Other activities such as off-road demonstrations, car club meets, quarter-mile challenges and road safety seminars give The Manila Motor Show a truly car enthusiast atmosphere.

The organizers of The Manila Motor Show hope that an industry-centered show such as this one will make investors think of investing in the Philippines once again. The Manila Motor Show will hopefully send a signal that the Philippine car industry is alive, kicking and most definitely growing.

For more information about The Manila Motor Show, you can log on to the official website at: or contact Worldbex International through its secretariat office at: (02) 531-6350 or (02) 534-3615.