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Friday, July 31, 2015

Toyota Launches 2015 Hilux: A New Era for Pickup Trucks (w/ Specs, Video)

Toyota Motor Philippines is finally laying down its cards on the table in the next-generation pickup truck wars as it unveiled the all-new, 8th generation Hilux. Aiming to raise the bar against its predecessors (and the competition), Toyota goes back to the very origin of the nameplate for inspiration. As a portmanteau of “High” and “Luxury”, Toyota believes the more daring, more powerful, and more competitive pickup has what it takes to once again regain the sales crown.

AVID Sales Surge 38 Percent in 2nd Quarter of 2015

Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) saw its sales climb by 38% in the 2nd quarter, registering 12,178 units versus 8,849 in the same period last year. First semester performance grew 15 percent to 20,626 for the first six months of the year. The remarkable surge in unit sales reflects the collective effects of strong consumer uptake and AVID’s incessant efforts in expanding avenues in which it engages its ever-evolving consumer base. Notably, AVID has welcomed Ford Group Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Ford vehicles in the country, into its fold as it continues to find ways of broadening its membership to advance its value contribution to the growth of the Philippine automotive industry.

Video: 2015-2016 Ford Everest Struts Its Stuff in Thailand

You’ve read our first impressions on the all-new 2015-2016 Ford Everest, but just how does it do in action? Well, check out the video below.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Suzuki to Expand Network to Sta. Rosa

Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPH), the only integrated motorcycle and automobile company in the country, recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for its latest car dealership, Suzuki Auto Sta. Rosa. Soon to rise along Tagaytay Balibago Road, it is the newest addition to the current roster of 32 Suzuki dealers nationwide, making the brand more accessible to motorists in the Southern Tagalog region.

New Honda City Passes Euro 4 Standards

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) announces that the New City has officially acquired EURO 4 emission standard certification from Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This is the first vehicle in Honda’s line-up to be locally certified with EURO 4 level emission standards. The certification is pursuant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2015-04 which mandates that all new passenger and light vehicles, and heavy duty motor vehicles made available in the market should comply with EURO 4 emission standards by January 2016 from the present EURO 2 emission standards.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Drive: 2015-2016 Ford Everest 3.2 Titanium 4WD and 2.2 Titanum 2WD

Photos by Ulysses Ang
“Go Further” is a very apt tagline for Ford lately. In the past few years, the Blue Oval has invested heavily in technology, transforming them from an automotive follower to automotive leader. Of course, some of this tech like EcoBoost has fared better than others like MyFord Touch. Still, there’s no denying that their investment in the cutting-edge has boosted their position in the market place; enabling them to tap segments like the so-called ‘millennials’—people who wouldn’t otherwise consider a Ford before.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tata Motors Bags Biggest Single Largest Order for Indian Army

Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply around 1200 units of its high-mobility 6X6 multi-axle trucks, from the Indian Army – the single largest order awarded to an Indian private OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in land systems under the DPP by the Indian army. The order for 6X6 vehicles is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ford Offers "Ride Out the Storm" Service Promo

With the Philippines now entering the rainy season, Ford Philippines has launched the “Ride out the Storm” service promo, which offers customers free extensive vehicle check, a free bottle of windshield cleaner, and rebates on safety parts.

Kia Philippines Set to Build Newest QC Landmark

Another historic moment for Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC) was forged recently as the exclusive distributor of Kia Motors vehicles in the Philippines signed a multi-year agreement with the Araneta Group to build the new Kia Theater, formerly known as New Frontier Theater.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chevrolet Philippines Celebrates Truck Month with Launch of Colorado Tracker Pro

Chevrolet Philippines celebrates its Truck Month by making a Rock Solid offer available to its customers. This month, Chevy launches the Tracker and Tracker Pro editions that combine off-road truck capability, crossover refinement and best-in-class performance features.

BMW Philippines Officially Launches the All-New X6

After showing it off at its Father’s Day activity last month, BMW is formally introducing its next-generation X6 Sports Activity Coupe for everyone to gush after. As the most controversial yet head-turning member of the X family, the BMW X6 aims to strengthen its position as the symbol of exclusivity and power. And now, it aims to raise the bar when it comes to innovative luxury as well.

Ford Ormoc Opens

Ford Philippines continues its dealer expansion with the opening of Ford Ormoc in Leyte.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Suzuki Philippines Reveals Celerio Pricing, Launch Slated on August 5

Touted before as the fashionable supermini, Suzuki Philippines is giving its Celerio a full on model change for 2015. This time, they call it the A+ Compact. Meet the 2015 Suzuki Celerio. And although the official launch is slated for the first week of August, they’ve revealed the final pricing as well as an available perk, if you decide to get a unit as in now.

Want to Win a Brand New Subaru Forester? You Can Do It at the Subaru Palm Challenge 2015 (w/ Video)

UPDATE 1: Including the step-by-step video guide below (7/25).

Subaru Palm Challenge 2015: Philippine Face-Off is on for the search for the 10 representatives of the Philippines for the Subaru Challenge 2015 in Singapore. Step up to the challenge and sign up for one of the three legs in the Philippines for a spot to represent the Philippines in Singapore and a chance to win a brand new Subaru Forester 2.0i-L.

EMotors and 2Go Partner for Electric Transport

Today’s smartest companies have overcome the old attitude that environmental initiatives are expensive and only contribute to shot-term ‘posturing’. The fact is that companies who address pollution gets consumers’ votes and patronage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Volvo Partners with Bulgari for Bridal Collection Show

Volvo Philippines is the official transport of the recent Bulgari Bridal Collection Show held at the Raffles Residences this 23 June 2015. A fleet of five new Volvos, including the sleek Volvo S60 and the flagship luxury S80 sedan, ferried guests in style to the wedding exhibit held at Greenbelt 5.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Records Modest Growth for First Half 2015

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) closed the month of June recording its highest monthly sales volume of 4,607 units. Sales for the month of June reflected a modest growth of 1.6 percent compared to 4,535 units that was sold during the same period last year. Passenger cars sales also increased by 32.3 percent with 1,499 units sold compared to 1,133 units sold during the same month last year. Sales for Fuso Trucks and Rosa Bus also posted increases. Fuso Trucks’ sales improved by 28.9 percent with 98 units sold while Rosa Bus sales grew by 25 percent.

Ford's New Advanced Lighting System Will Help Reduce Accidents (w/ Video)

Ford is developing a way to make driving safer at night, particularly in unlit roads. Currently in the testing phase, Ford’s new Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System (their caps, not mine) uses a clever combination of active headlamp reflectors, GPS, and cameras to make sure light is shown the areas you need it the most.

Review: 2015 Nissan X-Trail 4WD

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Back in 2000, the Nissan X-Trail was launched with an upright, boxy body that looked rather sedate. What it lacked in style though it made up for it with interesting stuff like a washable cargo hold, water repellant seats, and commendable off-road abilities (although comparing its AWD system with the Skyline GT-R’s leaves a bad taste). Still, next to fashion comedy, Zoolander, it looked like the X-Trail withstood the effects of time better than the film’s zebra-print pants, faux fur, and over-the-top hair. Now, here’s the 2015 model.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ford is Now Part of AVID

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), a non-profit business association of automotive importers and distributors founded in July 2010, welcomes a new member: Ford Group Philippines, Inc. AVID aims to promote the competitiveness of the Philippine automotive industry and boost its value contribution to the Philippine economy.

Isuzu Philippines Sales Up 50 Percent During First Half of 2015

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) has increased its sales volume by more than half during the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period last year.

Hyundai Philippine Sales Slip 6 Percent in 2nd Quarter of 2015

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country, registered a 6 percent year-on-year decline in the second quarter of the year.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Subaru Marathon: All You Need to Know

Subaru is organizing its first-ever marathon event which will be held at the Mall of Asia Grounds on September 13, 2015. Partnering with Run Rio, Inc., Motor Image Pilipinas (MIPI) officially launched the event and opened its registration to runners at the Raffles Hotel in Makati.

Ferrari Cavalcade Rome Raises 200,000 Euros for Charity

After four days of exploring Rome and the stunning areas around the city in their Ferraris, the 2015 Cavalcade participants celebrated the conclusion of the event with a gala dinner in the spectacular surroundings of Trajan’s Markets.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mahindra to Display Line-Up at Philippine Bus and Truck Show 2015

Asianbrands Motors Corporation, the exclusive distributor of Mahindra in the Philippines, will showcase the complete lineup of Mahindra vehicles at the 2015 Philippine Truck and Bus show at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19, 2015. As the ideal brand for the modern Filipino entrepreneur who values utility, durability, and ruggedness, the Philippine Truck and Bus Show is the perfect venue for Mahindra.

UPDATED: 2016 Toyota Fortuner: This is It! (w/ Thailand Market Specs)

UPDATE 4: Now, they have revealed the full specs (2/29).

UPDATE 3: Toyota Motor Philippines launches it to the media (1/14).

UPDATE 2: More information about the suspension, more interior pictures (7/17).

UPDATE 1: Now includes the Thai-market specs (7/16).

Toyota Motor Corporation held simultaneous launches of its much-awaited, all-new 2016 Fortuner in both Thailand and Australia just a couple of hours ago. Sales in those markets start as early as October of this year with the Philippines slated for a February 2016 launch (as indicated by Toyota sources).

Audi to Take Quattro All-Wheel Drive to the Moon

Audi is taking off for the moon – together with the Part Time Scientists. Nearly 45 years after NASA’s Apollo 17 completed the last manned mission to the moon, the cooperating partners have selected the old landing site of Apollo 17 as the new target. The group of German engineers in the Part-Time Scientists team is working within the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition to transport an unmanned rover onto the moon. Audi is supporting the Part-Time Scientists with its know-how in several fields of technology – from quattro all-wheel drive and lightweight construction to electric mobility and piloted driving.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mahindra is Officially in the Philippines

Mahindra, India’s leading SUV manufacturer makes its comeback into the Philippines under the exclusive distributorship of Asiabrands Motors Corporation, a new company under the Columbian Group of Companies which also distributes brands such as Kia, BMW, and Peugeot. Although Mahindra was in the Philippine market in the 1990’s, it’s only now that they’ll get a large corporate backer ensuring proper and reliable customer support.

2016 Mazda BT-50 Gets KODO-fied

Mazda has started the production of its refreshed 2016 BT-50 pickup truck at the Auto Alliance (Thailand) or AAT plant yesterday with the plan of introducing this model to markets such as Thailand and Australia in the second half of 2015 (Philippines likely to follow after, if ever at all).

Volvo Cars' Sensus Interface Voted Most Innovative HMI System

Once again, Volvo proves that creating cars with people in mind indeed has some perks. More than the accolades and awards, however, it is the end goal of making life less complicated for Volvo users that gives the most satisfaction to the people at Volvo.

Share Your Kia Experience and You Can Go to South Korea

Kia is rewarding its loyal owners yet again with a trip to South Korea. And this time, all it takes is for you to share your Kia story on their website. Interested? Read on.

Review: 2015 Honda Brio 1.3 V A/T

Photos by Ulysses Ang
How much are you willing to pay for a sportier body style? That’s the thousand peso question thrown to be would-be car buyers each and every time they cross shop between a sedan and a hatchback. Normally, the hatchback, seen as the sportier of the two body styles, commands a slight premium over the more practical but slightly duller sedan. For Honda though, the answer is quite different: it’s forty thousand pesos less in favor of the five-door. Yes, separating the top-line Brio and Brio Amaze (see review here) is a sizable P 40,000 spread. The question is: are the savings worth it?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

UPDATED: Philippine Car Price Guide: July 2015

We’re a bit earlier than usual this month for the July edition of the Philippine Car Price Guide. We wanted to wait for the all-new Hilux, but since it’s launching last week of July, we figured we can’t wait that long. So ladies and gents, here’s this month’s updated list. Here’s what’s new:
  • Audi (price updates)
  • BMW (price updates)
  • Lotus (new entry)
  • Mitsubishi L300 XV (price update)
  • Mitsubishi Mirage GLX (price update)
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport SE (new)
  • Toyota Corolla Altis (price update)
  • Toyota Fortuner (price update)
  • Toyota Hiace (price update)
  • Toyota Innova (new variant)
  • Toyota RAV4 (price update)
  • Toyota Vios (new variant)
  • Toyota Wigo (price update)
Shout out to our readers who found additional pricing updates. And in case you’re wondering, all entries that are clickable will send you to their respective test drive articles. Make sure to try it out.

Video: Wheels TV Season 2 Starts on Saturday, July 18

Want to catch me on television as I channel my inner James May? Tune in every Saturday starting July 18 on ABS-CBN Sports+Action (formerly Studio 23) for Philippine STAR’s Wheels TV. Joining me are Matteo Guidicelli, Manny delos Reyes, Kap Maceda-Aguila, and Angel Rivero. It’s the country’s only print-to-broadcast motoring show. And in case you missed any of Season 1’s segments, you can also catch them on Facebook (click here).

Feel free to leave comments about the show (except my weight gain haha) below.

UPDATED: 2016 Montero Sport Teased by Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (w/ Video)

UPDATE 2: Here it is in all its glory (8/1).

UPDATE 1: Included a link to the teaser video below (7/16).

Mitsubishi has released a single teaser photo of the all-new Montero Sport which is slated for a Global reveal this August 1 at the Bangkok International Grand Motor Sale 2015 (BIG Motor Sale 2015).

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Great Offers on Hand at Subaru Tanabata Festival July 13-19, 2015

Motor Image Pilipinas Inc., the exclusive distributor of Subaru in the Philippines would like to extend its appreciation to its customers for their continuous support to the brand. A Tanabata Festival will be held at all Subaru Showrooms nationwide on July 13-19, 2015.

Toyota Registers Strong Sales in First Half of 2015

The number one automotive brand in the country remains strong as seen in its sales last June. Compared to the same period of last year, Toyota’s sales increased by 17 percent with 9,923 units sold last month. The automotive brand capped off the first half of the year with 57,717 units registering a year-to-date growth of 19 percent versus last year. Its Passenger Car (PC) and Commercial Vehicle (CV) sales tally at 23, 804 and 33,913 units respectively.

Lotus Cars Manila Previewed at Globe Slipstream 2.0 (w/ Specs, Prices)

The iconic purveyor of light-weight, high-performance British sports cars is finally in Manila. Lotus Cars Manila, a new brand under the Autohub Group, gave the public a sneak peek of their line-up at the Slipstream 2.0 event in Bonifacio Global City. It was the perfect venue as the Prince of Speed and Globe Tattoo ambassador Marlon Stockinger was on hand to show off his car handling prowess using his Lotus Formula Renault 3.5 open-wheeled race car.

Isuzu Philippines Previews New Heavy-Duty Trucks

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), the country’s leader in the commercial vehicle segment showcased their newest heavy-duty trucks under the C and E Series at its assembly plant located in Biñan, Laguna.

Suzuki Philippines Bags 3 Awards for Excellence

Suzuki Philippines, the Philippine arm of the global automobile manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corporation, received three global awards from the recently concluded 2014 Suzuki After Sales Awarding. The event, held in Bangkok, Thailand last June 15, 2015, gathered together Suzuki subsidiaries, distributors, and affiliates from all over the world to recognize and award their continued efforts to uphold Suzuki’s commitment to excellence in product and customer relations.

Ford Santa Rosa Opens

Ford Philippines continues its dealership network expansion with the opening of Ford Santa Rosa. The new Ford dealership in Sta. Rosa Laguna is the 37th full sales and service dealership of Ford in the country.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Green Pill or Red Pill? Havoline and Techron Concentrate Plus Tune-Up Pack

Caltex Philippines provides your car with the ultimate protection it needs with the dynamic Havoline Tune Up Packs. Motorists can choose between Havoline ProDS Fully Synthetic ECO 5 SAE 5W-30 4-liter pack or Havoline Synthetic Blend SAE 5W-30 4-liter pack bundled up with Techron Concentrate Plus. This special deal allows motorists to save up to P 450 each. The Tune Up Packs are available in selected Caltex gasoline stations nationwide.

Ford Celebrates Record First Half of 2015

Ford Philippines today announced it’s best-ever performance for the month of June with retail sales rising 10 percent year-over-year to 1,870 units.

Modulo, MUGEN Corner at Now All Honda Cars Makati Dealerships

Honda Cars Makati, Inc. offers a more rewarding ownership experience among Honda car owners with the availability of Modulo and Mugen accessories at its showrooms in Makati, Pasig, Alabang, Shaw, Global City, and soon in Manila Bay.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: 2015 Ford Escape 1.6 SE EcoBoost

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Undeniably, the Ford Escape is an impressive piece of kit. Regardless of what measurement you use, it’s got all the bells and whistles to satisfy even the most tech-savvy individual. Though the overall execution is somewhat mixed (read our Ford Escape 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium AWD review), there’s no denying that it’s pushing the value quotient way up to the stratosphere. But that story’s largely applicable to the top-line Titanium model. How does the Escape story apply to the “base” 1.6 SE variant? Read on.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Batch of Mazda Philippines-MFI Scholars Begin OJT

Berjaya Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country together with MFI Foundation Incorporated (formerly Meralco Foundation Inc.) will now begin the second phase of its ongoing partnership in MFI’s Industrial Technician Program (ITP).

Kia Philippines's Technician Recognized in Kia World Service Advisor Competition

A company is only as strong as its partners, and Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in the Philippines, is no exception. Staff development is one of CAC’s most important programs that they provide to their partner dealerships’ sales and service departments. A prime example of one dealership that has taken full advantage of this is Kia Pampanga.

Tata Teams Up with Atoy on Emergency Response Vehicle

Pilipinas Taj Autogroup, the exclusive distributor of Tata Motors passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the Philippines, in partnership with ATOY Customs, presents the ideal vehicle for local government units and disaster response teams in the country, the Tata Ace Rescue Boy.

Battle Hardened Warrior: Off-Roading with the Isuzu D-Max

Photos by Ulysses Ang
The local pickup truck segment is tightening and the one that’s starting to feel the pinch is long-time leader, Isuzu. For years, the D-Max has enjoyed brisk sales, but the increased competition from within the segment has caused its sales to plateau in recent months. Knowing quite well its importance to its line-up, the D-Max had to learn to sing a different tune from the “dependable workhorse” formula it has known from Day One. Earlier this year, Isuzu has done just that. They introduced the 2015 version of the D-Max, a timely upgrade that the company hopes will lure weekend warriors and lifestyle-oriented buyers to join the long list of satisfied Isuzu customers.