Petron Corporation, the country's leading oil firm, has signed up with the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI), to be the official presentor of the 2007 Car of the Year (COTY)-Philippines awards.

At the manufacturer-media launch held at The Loft in Manansala, Rockwell Center, last August 2, CAGI president Ira Panganiban announced the partnership, noting: "This year is a benchmark year for the Car of the Year-Philippines and the partnership with Petron is envisioned to spur the awards' success and raise it to a higher level."

Joselito de Jesus, Petron marketing services general manager, gave this statement about the oil company's support: "The next couple of months will find our motoring friends deep in research, road tests, calculations and a lot of debate as they choose, based on technical analysis and numeric evaluation, this year's winners. The responsibility is tremendous and the impact is even greater as the results are intended to guide the motorist in his next vehicle purchase. I am sure that the car manufacturers are very eager to put their products to the test, just as we at Petron are eager to have our petroleum products put to the test in real Philippine driving conditions. We share with CAGI and other award-giving bodies the same objective of empowering the consumer by providing him with choices that offer the best value for money."

Following a street party to publicly launch the 2007 Petron Car of the Year-Philippines proceedings, test fests will be held on nine consecutive weekends starting August 25, at the San Lazaro Hippodrome of the Manila Jockey Club in Carmona, Cavite.

A total of 106 vehicles will be tested by CAGI to nominate winners for 22 categories and this year's Car of the Year-Philippines. The Awards Night will be held on November 15, at the Rockwell Tent in Rockwell Center, Makati City.