The fifth edition of the biennial Philippine International Motor Show, the industry expo of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), has just wrapped up after 4 days from September 18 to 21, 2014 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
The industry motor show displayed the latest automobiles, concept cars, race cars and held test drive activities for the motoring public. The show was participated in by CAMPI's members and was opened by the guest of honor, Senator Bam Aquino.
Send in the concept cars
The stars of any motor show are definitely the concept cars, and the 5th Philippine International Motor Show had four of them.
Headlining the display of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation is the Toyota Fun Vii concept. The whole vehicle body of the Fun Vii can be used as a display space and offers the ability to alter the content displayed on the interior and exterior. While not a driveable concept car, the Fun Vii does present a unique vision of the future.
Over at the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines booth the GR-HEV concept was making waves as it is effectively a prequel for the next generation of the Mitsubishi L200 and Strada lines, although in hybrid form. At the tent area of the World Trade Center, MMPC had another booth as the company showcased another concept in the Mitsubishi CA-MiEV all electric compact vehicle.
Stealing the show, however, had to be Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., as the company brought in the Honda NSX Concept; their vision of the second generation of their famed mid engined supercar. The NSX was a surprise addition from HCPI, and became a major draw for spectators to the show.
Race car showcase
Along with the concept cars, carmakers also displayed several racecars at the 5th PIMS. Honda brought the most powerful one as they took the wraps off of the #16 Team Mugen car from the 2013 Super Formula season. The #16 car was driven last year by Japanese driver Naoki Yamamoto of Honda's factory racing team to the driver's championship in the Super Formula series, otherwise known as Formula Nippon.
Another race car at PIMS was the 2002 Dakar-winning #201 Mitsubishi Pajero of famed driver Hiroshi Masuoka. The #201 Pajero of Team Nippon Oil Mitsubishi Ralliart was driven by Masuoka (who visited the Philippines a few years back) to victory from northern France to Dakar in Senegal. He would repeat the win the very next year, also aboard a Mitsubishi Pajero.
Over at Toyota, the automaker displayed one of their Vios Cup cars being used in the one-make race series this year. The Vios Cup set a new record for the largest grid in AAP-sanctioned motorsport when they started the series with over 30 cars lined up.
New cars enter the market at PIMS
Of course the real draw of the show would be the introduction of new models from various automakers.
Of note are the launches of the all new BMW X4 from Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC-BMW), the next generation of the Nissan X-Trail from Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) and the all-new Honda Brio and Brio Amaze sedan.
Apart from the all new models, many carmakers and distributors also launched updated versions and new variants of their cars. Mitsubishi brought out the updated Pajero, BMW launched the facelifted X3, Toyota refreshed the Fortuner and Hilux while Mazda (under Berjaya Auto Philippines) brought out the Mazda3 Speed.
Other automakers held public debuts for their models such as Lexus Manila with the NX crossover as well as Isuzu with the all new MU-X and the D-Max X-Series.
Two European brands also held previews of models not yet offered for sale such as Volkswagen with the Mark 7 Golf GTI and Peugeot with the 508 Hybrid.
Of special note was the launch of Bayan Auto headed by Commodore George Chua, the official distributor and, later on, assembler of BAIC automobiles in the Philippines.
Also, Kia Motors, under Columbian Autocar Corporation, held the public launch of their new team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) with the Kia Sorentos, coached by boxing champ Manny Pacquiao. Bus manufacturer CMANC did a throwback tribute to the Love Bus of the 70s and 80s, as well as the jeepney.
Test drives and off-road thrills
Outside of the main hall of the World Trade Center in Pasay was a multi-brand test drive event where customers and showgoers can drive all the models available under the CAMPI banner. Fuso and Isuzu had their trucks on display as well.
What many were keen on trying were the models from Jeep Philippines as they brought all their off-road models to play on a challenging dirt track. Customers and visitors were able to try the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and even the latest model, the Jeep Trailhawk, on a course that really put the brand's name to the test.
See you in 2016
With the successful staging of the 5th Philippine International Motor Show and over 90,000 visitors, we just can't wait for what CAMPI can come up with for the next edition of the show in two years' time.