Helping the motoring public grapple with soaring fuel prices, local auto makers have taken the lead by offering wider choices of safe and fuel-efficient vehicles at the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) this August.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), an organization of local carmakers and distributors, is staging the country's "ultimate motoring event" at the World Trade Center Metro Manila on August 21 to 24.

This year's PIMS is expected to breach last year's crowd of 60,000 who trooped to the country's biggest motoring event. PIMS 2008 will not only attract hordes of motoring enthusiasts, but also potential buyers on the lookout for new car models thrifty on fuel to ease their transport woes. The motor show also targets a broader visitor profile.

The event brings together 15 global auto brands representing the movers and shakers in the Philippine automotive industry, as well as leading brands in affiliate and support industries. To accommodate the bigger number of exhibitors and visitors, this year's exhibit space has been expanded by a third to occupy over 11,000 square meters of the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

"We promise more fun, more visual appeal, and more learning," said Elizabeth Lee, CAMPI president, as she formally launched the 2nd PIMS to media at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on July 22.

To capture the motor show's spirit, CAMPI adopted the theme Drive the Future: Towards Safer and Cleaner Motoring.

"We believe that as providers of tools of transportation, we can help steer the nation towards a tomorrow where cars churn up less emission, consume less fuel while generating more motive power, and protect its occupants from harm," said Ms. Lee. "By driving the future, CAMPI is taking the lead in bringing to the country the latest in motoring advancement."

Last year's first PIMS carried the theme Shifting to Higher Gear, which reflected the direction the automotive industry was charting, as total vehicle sales broke the 100,000 mark in the country in 2007.

Global oil prices had since altered buying trends in the automotive industry, with customers struggling to find more affordable modes of transportation. CAMPI found itself in a position of greater responsibility to assist the motoring public in this changed environment.

Aside from being the annual motorists' mecca for new concept cars, sprawling displays and numerous exhibits of companies offering after-market auto products, PIMS 2008 also promises to offer something for everyone.

There is an array of family-oriented activities from scale model exhibits, seminars on karting and drifting events, car and fashion photography, to actual test drives of the latest models. CAMPI said PIMS 2008 will be a "truly experiential show" to stand out from the typical, cut-and-dry auto shows.

"Filipinos love their cars and we pledge to bring in what the world has to offer in terms of new car models, new vehicle technology and new ways of motoring," said Ms. Lee. "This is a reflection of the dynamism and resiliency of the Philippine car industry that despite a global downtrend on vehicle sales, local car makers continued to register growth in vehicle sales."