The Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) recently celebrated its 9th year of staging world-class auto exhibitions. Held last weekend, the show was held on over 30,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor exhibit floor areas. MIAS welcomed more than 96,000 visitors during its April 4 to 7 four-day weekend show. Last year, MIAS registered over 88,000 visitors and despite the extremely hot summer heat, the show this year generated about a ten percent rise in visitor traffic.
A total of 28 automotive brands joined the show and nine new model debuts and launches were held. These included Ford’s Wildtrak pickup and a one-day preview of the all-new Fiesta, other launches included the Subaru Forester, Mazda 6, MINI Paceman, JEEP Moab Wrangler, Peugeot RCZ, Chery Fulwin hatchback and E5 sedan.
Other show attractions
Subaru’s “Jellyfish” car caused a stir as Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive Philippine distributor of Subaru automobiles showcased the Subaru BRZ Prologue. It is a see-thru prototype model of the BRZ sports car designed to show the internal engine and suspension layout of its acclaimed boxer engine. The shell of the full-size model car was made of specially formed plexiglass panels and it was said that a specially refrigerated container was used to import this from Subaru Japan to avoid warping the bodyshell due to the hot local climate.
For classic car enthusiasts, there was a plethora of highly collectible cars on display including a very rare 1960s Toyota 2000GT 'James Bond' supercar of the 'You Only Live Twice' fame. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe said that it has been a long time since he has seen one of these cars and was very delighted to have seen one.
As a supporting event, MIAS successfully held its fifth consecutive year the Petron-MIAS Custom Classic Car Competition with over 80 cars vying for top honors competing for the best-of-show and other category wins. Johnson Tan of JSK bagged the most number of wins in his highly customized RX7 with a Veilside custom bodykit, including the “Best of Show” award for 2013.
Autoplus Sportzentrium, the country’s exclusive distributors of Motul lubricants celebrated Motul’s 160th year anniversary by showcasing pairs of collectible new and classic cars in their pavilion. Among the display were - a classic 1965 Mustang GT350 and paired with a 2013 Shelby GT500, a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL paired with an AMG SLS “Gullwing” model, a 1989 930 Turbo and a 2011 911 GT2 (997). Other notable cars on display were the 1965 Lola T70 and a 1971 Pantera de Tomaso. “Our display area is a tribute to automotive engineering and Motul’s rich racing history,” explains Carlos Gono, Managing Partner of Autoplus.
“This year, our goal was not only to increase foot traffic but also to encourage our visitors to stay for a longer period of time. By building a bigger food and beverage facility, our visitors and even our exhibitors do not have to leave the show to have their lunch or dinner, since our show starts as early as 10am and ends late until 10pm. We are very pleased with this year’s refreshed layout and results. We also heard from several of our main exhibitors that they also registered improved results this year in exposure and sales leads as well.” says Jill Ang, Managing Director of WSI.