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Friday, March 23, 2012

We'll Be Live from the Bangkok Motor Show!

We've seen it as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and now, we're finally going to see the final ASEAN market specific Ford Focus! Yay! will be live from the Bangkok Motor Show starting Monday, March 26 where we'll be covering the unveil and details about the all-new 2013 Ford Focus. Then, we'll be at the Challenger Hall at Impact Muang Thong Thani for the rest of the new cars.

So...don't forget to follow us on Twitter for the latest information from Bangkok!

Production Chevrolet Trailblazer Debuts in Bangkok

Chevrolet is revealing the first of the next-generation 7-seater SUVs with the 2013 Trailblazer which is breaking cover at the upcoming Bangkok International Motor Show. First previewed at the Dubai International Motor Show as a concept, it's now in production form. Sales will start in Thailand by June.

Like the Colorado, the Trailblazer will be powered by a family of Duramax turbo-diesel engines and will feature a myriad of available safety features including Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Hill Descent Control.

Read more after the break.

Hyundai Gives Sneak Peek of 2013 Santa Fe

Putting rumors of its impending death to rest, Hyundai has released teaser shots of its all-new Santa Fe which will be unveiled at the upcoming New York International Auto Show in April.

The all-new Santa Fe, which will be known as "DM" in South Korea will embody a design concept which Hyundai calls "Storm Edge". Of course, it will still be based off Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. Aside from the two shots revealed, Hyundai remains tight-lipped about the all-new Santa Fe. However, Hyundai does say that the Santa Fe will embody "Refinement", "Smartness" and "Practicality".

Since its launch, the Santa Fe crossover has sold over 2.56 million worldwide.

AVID Reports 46% Growth in February

AVID, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors has reported total sales of 2,881 vehicles for the month of February. This represents a 46 percent growth year-on-year. Overall, the growth is largely driven by passenger cars which rose to 2,025 units from 934 units year-on-year.Overall, AVID members are positive about the rest of the year with new model launches (some of which will be launching at the upcoming Manila International Auto Show).

Here is the AVID sales breakdown between members for February:
  • British United (MINI) -  16 units
  • CATS Motors (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz) - 60 units
  • HARI (Hyundai) - 2,369 units
  • Scandinavian Motors (Volvo) - 20 units
  • Motor Image Pilipinas (Subaru) - 73 units
  • TCCI (Chevrolet) - 318 units
Read the complete press release after the break.

Kia to Open Molino Dealership

Photo courtesy of Kia Press
KIA surprised Cavite last February 20, 2012 with the groundbreaking of its newest dealership, KIA Molino. Offering everything from sales, service, to spare parts, KIA Molino is expected to excite and be talked about by Caviteños when it opens its doors by the end of September.

Gracing the event were, from left to right, Engr. Joey Galan, contractor for JS Galan Builders & Trading, Mr. Joseph Wang, President of Richfield Properties, Mr. Hernando D. Gañac, Jr., VP for Marketing, Columbian Autocar Corp. (exclusive distributor of KIA in the Philippines), Arch. Charina Cruz-Haltland, Architect for Kia Molino, Mr. Franz Alvarez, President of Kia Molino, Ms. Ginia R. Domingo, President of Columbian Autocar Corp. and Mr. Anton Haltland, General Manager of Kia Molino.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mazda CX-5 Specs Leaked, PHL Launch in April

Photo by Ulysses Ang
The most awaited replacement for the Mazda Tribute and CX-7 is almost finally here! The Mazda CX-5 is reaching Philippine shores by April. and guess what, the pricing and specs have been leaked a full month before the launch date!

Thanks to enterprising sales agents, they have revealed at the 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be available in two variants: a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic. However, both models will be front-wheel drive. The price for the CX-5 M/T is pegged at P 1,392,000 and P 1,452,000 for the A/T.

The asking price may be hefty, but the CX-5 is the first Mazda vehicle to fully incorporate the new SkyActiv-G technology which boasts excellent fuel efficiency without sacrificing driving fun and dynamics. In the CX-5, a 2.0-liter version of the SkyActiv-G will be used which is good for 155 horsepower and 210 Nm of torque.

Aside from SkyActiv-G, the 2013 CX-5 will come fully loaded including auto on/off HID headlamps, LED tail lamps, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, automatic climate control, an integrated audio system with USB and Bluetooth hands-free as well as 6 speakers. In safety, the CX-5 will come with 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control.


Ford Set to Introduce Inflatable 2nd Row Seat Belts in Explorer 2.0 GTDi

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
The All-New Ford Explorer has been reinvented, raising the bar on SUV safety by combining technologies to help avoid crashes with those that set new standards of protection in the event of one.

The comprehensive safety story of the All-New Ford Explorer adds new features including the world’s first inflatable second-row seat belts.

“The All-New Explorer  2.0L GTDi XLT combines – all at once – our best technologies to not only help prevent a crash, but to help prevent injuries to occupants when a crash is unavoidable,” said Vinay Piparsania, vice president for Marketing and Sales, Ford Group Philippines. “The use of high-strength steels such as boron in the Explorer body structure also offers a greater level of protection, while meeting the most stringent roof crush standards.”

Explorer showcases Ford’s commitment to safety by offering passengers an unprecedented array of active and passive safety technologies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Issues Recall for Fuzion MPV

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines has announced a safety-related recall of its Fuzion multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). The announcement was made to coincide a memo sent to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regarding the very same safety defect.

The recall, which affects Fuzion MPVs sold between June 2007 to February 2012 (2,137 units) is related to the car's steering column intermediate shafts and how insufficient welding may result in failure. According to Mitsubishi, owners will be inconvenienced by 1.5 hours at the most while technicians check and replace the necessary parts.

The VINs of the Fuzion models affected will be placed on Mitsubishi's website. Concerned owners may also call Mitsubishi Motors's Customer Care Center at +632-658-0673 from Mondays to Fridays, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Read the entire press release after the break.

Linsanity Grips Volvo, Jeremy Lin Endorse Volvo

Photo courtesy of Volvo Press
Linsanity has gripped Volvo and it was just announced that rising NBA star Jeremy Lin will endorse Volvo cars and automobiles in China, the United States and other Chinese-language markets in Asia. Lin's endorsement deal will last for two years and during that time he will appear in corporate and marketing activities as Volvo Brand Ambassador as well as appear in advertising in these markets.

Read the entire press release after the break.

Mitsubishi Starts Production, Sale of Mirage in Thailand; in PHL Soon?

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Press
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced that it has begun the sale of its Mirage sub-compact hatchback in the Thai market. The very same car is made at a brand-new factory in Mitsubishi Motors Thailand's (MMTh) Laem Chabang Plant which is the largest Mitsubishi plant outside of Japan. According to Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, the global Mirage will be sold initially in Thailand followed by the rest of ASEAN (Philippines will definitely be a part), Japan and then Europe.

In Thailand, the Mirage is powered by a 1.2-liter engine with Mitsubishi's MIVEC technology enabling it to return up to 22 km/L. Mitsubishi aims to sell 2,500 units of the Mirage in Thailand alone per month with a price ranging from THB 380,000 to THB 551,000.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Toyota Motor Philippines Launches 2012 Yaris and Land Cruiser

Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation is continuing to deliver on its promise to renew or refresh its vehicle line-up this year by launch the 2012 versions of the Yaris sub-compact hatchback and Land Cruiser 200 luxury sport utility vehicle last week. Although these two vehicles appear to be at the opposite sides of the spectrum, both in size and price, Toyota has made sure that the Yaris and Land Cruiser come with new and re-designed features to make them more appealing and class competitive than ever before.

Special Deals for AVT Navigators at MIAS

Since its introduction of the AVT Navigator as the country's first-ever portable GPS navigation system with extensive local support for updated maps, the AVT Navigator product range has seen increased demand from motorists who appreciate a reliable road guide.

Exclusively for the 2012 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS)—to be held from March 29-April 1, 2012 at the World Trade Center, Roxas Boulevard, Manila—the AVT Navigator PN503 will be sale at the AVT booth at a very special discounted price.

Petron Receives Award from Management Association of the Philippines

Photo courtesy of Petron Press
The country’s leading oil company Petron Corporation recently marked another milestone as it bagged two coveted distinctions from the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), including the Integral CSR Award for its success in making social responsibility an essential part of its business operations.

A feat unmatched by any other oil company, Petron bagged the prestigious Integral CSR Award at the 2nd MAP CSR Leadership Challenge for its “Growing. Greening. Giving Back: Making CSR and Sustainability a way of life in Petron” strategy along with the Best in Environment and Sustainable Development Special Award for its “Measuring, Managing and Minimizing our Environment Footprint in Bataan” program.

Safe-T-Ryders to Hold Bikers Meet in Quezon City

As part of its safety awareness campaign for motorcycle riders, Safe-T-Ryders Training Center will be holding its 2nd Biker Meet-Up on Saturday, 24 March 2012, at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

The Bikers Meet-Up program starts off an open forum to listen and respond to urgent concerns of motorcycle riders, giving them an opportunity to dialogue on issues related to traffic regulations, safety ordinances, etc.  For the 2nd Bikers Meet-Up, former LTO Chief Alberto H. Suansing will once again listen to the bikers from Quezon City.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Subaru XV to be Priced from P 1.288M?

Members of the Subaru Club of the Philippines is now abuzz with the launch of the Subaru XV at the upcoming Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) on March 29, 2012. And according to some members, the Subaru XV will have two models and will be priced P 1,288,000 for the base model and P 1,398,000 for the high-end model. The high-end model will get a moon roof, a multi-information display, dual climate control, a back-up camera, power folding mirrors and HID headlamps.

If this is true, the Subaru XV's pricing will be very close to the Forester. In fact, if no other price change will be announced at MIAS, the high-end XV will be identical in price to the Forester XS!

Based on the fourth-generation Impreza, the Subaru XV is a high-riding compact crossover in the same vein as the Mitsubishi ASX. Like the Mitsubishi, the XV is powered by a 2.0-liter engine mated to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).

Source: Subaru Club of the Philippines [registration required]

Hefty Toyota Camry Discounts Points to All-New Model Launch

Several Toyota dealerships are reportedly giving hefty discounts for the current Toyota Camry. If you're considering to buy a new Camry, the 2.4 V is being offered at less P 250,000 from list price, while the 3.5 Q and 2.4 G are both offered at P 200,000 less from list.

All this points towards the reduction of inventory and the impending launch of the all-new Camry. Some dealer representatives are pointing towards an April release for the all-new Camry. According to some sources, it will be very close to the European model Camry seen in the pictures above.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hyundai to Launch Veloster, Eon at MIAS 2012

Things are apparently heating up for the Manila International Auto Show. The biggest annual motoring event, which opens its doors on Thursday, March 29 is already playing host to the Philippine launch of the Subaru XV compact crossover.

Now, it's just been confirmed that Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai cars and commercial vehicles in the Philippines is set to launch the Veloster and Eon at MIAS. The Veloster, which is already grabbing headlines in the North American market for its head-turning looks as well as fun but fuel-efficient drivetrain will be the star of HARI's more than 1,000 square-meter display at the World Trade Center. Meanwhile, the Eon, which is a sub-compact city car designed for the Indian market, will also make its debut at MIAS. The Eon, which is in the same category as the Suzuki Alto should become a game-changer for HARI.

We'll be live from the MIAS floor on March 29, so follow us then!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Philippine Car Price Guide: March 2012 recently just returned from a two-week vacation in Japan. Of course, expect from juicy stories from us including some pretty interesting future cars we'd be seeing on Philippine roads.

Well, while you wait for those stories, here's the updated pricing guide for March 2012. The notable new entries here include the all-new Lexus GS, the new Toyota Innova as well as new variants of the Mitsubishi Adventure.


Mitsubishi Motors Invites Public to Lancer International Junior Tennis Championship

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines is inviting the public to the 23rd Mitsubishi Lancer Junior Tennis Championship (MLIJTC) at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center starting March 20. The tournament, which is free to the public is where stars such as Lleyton Hewitt made their start.

Also on Sunday, March 25, there will be a free tennis clinic that's once again open to the public. National coaches will personally share their experiences and train participants. Interested parties may register at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center starting March 20. And if you're one of the first twenty (20) registrants for the tennis clinic, you will receive a free Mitsubishi Ralliart item as well.

BPI Auto Loans Presents MIAS 2012

For the second straight year BPI Family Auto Loan presents the 8th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). With this year’s theme: “Life in the fast lane”, BPI Family Auto Loan makes it easy to live life in the fast lane especially for BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank clients.

Slated to open from March 29 to April 1, the MIAS remains the Philippines’ biggest motoring event of the year. It features the best and latest in the local automotive industry; from the coolest sedans to the monstrous 4x4 pickup trucks, all exhibited on the World Trade Center Manila. MIAS brings the biggest brand, the latest car models, and the coolest car accessories under one roof. 

Mitsubishi Motors Heats Up Summer with Business Booster Deals

If you're thinking of getting into business, then now's your chance with Mitsubishi's Business Booster deals. Lasting only from March 14 to 25, this special promo offers zero interest plans for the L300. There are special too for the Adventure. Some models will also offer P 10,000-P 15,000 worth of BPI Master Express Cash Card as well as a free 22-inch Samsung LCD TV for selected models.

Mazda Philippines Expands Dealer Network for Upcoming Vehicle Launches

Photo courtesy of Mazda Press
Mazda Philippines has recently announced the adding of Mazda Dagupan among their growing list of dealerships in the country.

Run by the Laus Auto Group, Mazda Dagupan is located at the automotive district of Lucao in Dagupan City. It boasts of a 5 vehicle showroom and full service bays. Aside from Mazda Dagupan, the Mazda brand is expected to erect 7 other dealerships this year: Manila Bay, Pasig, Cavite, Tarlac, Cabanatuan, Iloilo and Davao bringing the total number of Mazda dealerships to 16 by the end of 2012.

All this good news comes as part of Mazda's exciting plans for 2012 including the launch of three new vehicles which includes the all-new Mazda 3 compact car as well as the Tribute/CX-7 replacement, the CX-5.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ford Sees Continuing Effects of Thai Floods in February

Ford Group Philippines continues to be battered hard by the effects of the Thai floods by posting a weak unit sales volume of just 415 units. This is due to the fact that most of Ford's Philippine products--namely the Fiesta, Ranger and Everest are all built and manufactured in Thailand.

Ford has said though that it expects to bounce back in the coming months especially with the launch of 3 new vehicle launches including the North American-built Ford Explorer 2.0 GTDi at this month's Manila International Auto Show (MIAS).

Kia Motors Posts 21.3 Percent Growth in February

Kia Motors has seen tremendous growth for the month of February, posting a global growth rate of 21.3 percent! Predominantly, the highest increase in sales is due to the Chinese market which posted a 42 percent gain and then North America at 36 percent.

Read more about Kia's global growth after the break.

Petron Awards Doble Panalo Promo Winners

A housewife wins a Toyota Hi-Lux, a sari-sari store owner drives home a Honda Civic, and an airline mechanic is a proud Yamaha Mio Soul owner a after being picked as grand prize winners in the 1st Grand Draw of the Petron Doble Panalo promo.  The prizes were turned over at simple ceremonies held last 27 February 2012 at Petron headquarters.

The 1st Grand Draw, held last 20 December 2011, picked the following winners:  For the Toyota Hi-Lux, the winners were Marilyn V. Pena of Biñan, Laguna (Luzon); Linda Pondavilla of Ubay, Bohol (Visayas); and Demetrio Berza Jr. of Davao City (Mindanao). For the Honda Civic, the winners were Concordia Sosa of San Luis, Pampanga (Luzon); Retchelio Polenio of Ormoc, Leyte (Visayas); and Michelle Burdeos of Butuan City (Mindanao). Yamaha Mio Soul scooters were also given away to Victoriano Palma of Novaliches, Quezon City (Luzon); Armando Itang of Ormoc City (Visayas); and Carmelo Concon of Davao City (Mindanao).

Other prizes awarded during the 1st Grand Draw were six winners of a 47-inch LED TV, six winners of a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and nine winners of an Apple iPad 2.  In addition, there were 48 winners of a Petron eFuel Card worth P10,000 each.

The market acceptance and popularity of the promo resulted in a one-month extension of the promo to 29 February 2012 to allow give more customers a chance to enter the 2nd Grand Draw, which has been moved to March 2012.  Prizes for the 2nd Grand Draw include: Mitsubishi Montero (3), Yamaha Mio Soul motorcycle (3), 47-inch LED TV (6), Samsung Galaxy Tab (6), Apple iPad 2 - 32GB (9), and Petron eFuel Card worth P10,000 each (48).

In its biggest marketing promotion to end 2011 and start 2012 with a bang, Petron Doble Panalo gave Petron customers two chances to win prizes from Petron stations nationwide.  First, with every P1,000 single or accumulated purchase of Petron fuels—Petron Xtra, Petron XCS, Petron Blaze, Petron DieselMax and Petron Turbo Diesel—a customer was entitled to "Pick a Raffle Coupon" with an instant prize from the bunot box.  Instant giveaways include: free 1-liter fuel, Petron t-shirt, Petron sticker, San Mig 3-in-1 coffee, and Petron 2012 calendar. The same Raffle Coupon was then used to participate in the Doble Grand Draws, which had separate draws and separate winners for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. 

Mitsubishi Motors Expands Dealership Network to Palawan

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Press
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) and Maximotors Corporation recently signed an agreement to open a dealership in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.  The contract signing was headed by MMPC executives Mr. Hikosaburo Shibata – President and CEO, Mr. Taizo Furuhashi – Executive Vice President, and Mr. Dante Santos – First Vice President for Sales and Marketing and Maximotors President Mr. Wesley Lao and Vice President Winston Onglo. Maximotors Corp. which operates Mitsubishi dealership will be constructed on a 2,500 sqm lot located in Abad Santos Extension, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.  Maximotors was incorporated by young entrepreneurs aiming to bring world-class vehicles and services within reach of every Palaweños. With the addition of Maximotors, MMPC has now a total of 42 dealerships nationwide.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A One-on-One with HARI President Ms. Fe Perez-Agudo

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Press
*EDITOR'S NOTE: The following piece was originally published in The Philippine Star where this blog's author is a weekly contributor and columnist.

The success of the Hyundai Accent, Elantra and Tucson is just the tip of the iceberg for Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the country’s official distributor of Hyundai automobiles and trucks. In fact, whether you’re looking for a tiny city car or an all-out sports car, Hyundai has your bases covered. However, beyond the world-beating products, HARI is focusing to deliver the entire customer experience.

The Philippine Star recently sat down with Ms. Fe Perez-Agudo to ask about the unique opportunities and challenges that face Hyundai including its response to customers affected by Tropical Storm Sendong as well as plans for its One Hyundai Club (OHC).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: 2012 Geely LC

Photos by Ulysses Ang
You know inflation has reared its ugly head when you can’t even buy a piece of chewing gum for 25 cents. It’s the same situation just about anywhere. And it’s especially true with cars where half a million pesos would have landed you in the luxury category a decade ago; now you can’t even get anything new and decently spec-ed. Such is the dilemma of the modern consumer: there are much more choices in the market, but the earning power just hasn’t caught up.

Thankfully (at least in the realm of cars), someone forgot to tell the folks over at AutoChina to adjust their prices for inflation. With a single showroom located at EDSA Balintawak in Quezon City (literally at the landing of the Balintawak MRT station), the Philippine distributor of Geely Automobiles whipped out a surprise number with their LC city car. If the model name doesn’t sound sexy, it’s because the LC was once known as the Panda when it was previewed at the Manila International Auto Show last year. Unfortunately, there was an issue that prevented AutoChina from using the name, so LC was used instead. A rather unfortunate event since the LC does resemble its animal namesake.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A One-on-One with Autostrada Motore Chair & President Wellington Soong

Photos courtesy of Autostrada Motore Press
Clad in a matching black v-neck shirt and jeans, Wellington “Willie” Soong busily looked around his newest, sprawling showroom; an exciting addition to his portfolio of automotive brands. This could have been on any regular weekday, but this was on a Saturday morning. Normally, people of his stature would be on the golf course swinging a round or two of golf, but Mr. Soong was busy at work, personally supervising the completion of the Autostrada Motore showroom down to the key details such as the positioning of the furnishing and the cars itself.

Mr. Soong’s personal touch and hands-on approach has made him the perfect man to helm the Philippines’s official dealer of Ferrari and Maserati automobiles. The only new Ferrari dealership slated to open this year in the South East Asian region, the opening of the new, world-class facility located at 32nd and 4th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City brings everything into a complete circle for Mr. Soong and Autostrada Motore.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Amazing Prices at Stake with Shell VISA Swipe & Save Promo

Have a VISA credit, prepaid or Electron cards? Regularly gas up at Shell? Well, here's the perfect change for you to win some cool gadgets such as one of Ten (10) Apple iPad2, Ten (10) Apple MacBook Air, Ten (10) Canon DSLR EOS 1100D and Ten (10) P 25,000 worth of cash rebates.

The promo, which runs from March 1 to April 30, 2012 allows you to gain a raffle entry by presenting the original VISA transaction slip from the following shops: Shell Quality Fuels, Shell Lubricants, Shell Shop, Shell Select, Shell Helix Service Center (excluding Mini Stop located in Shell Stations). The draw date is on May 14, 2012.

For more information, visit: Shell Swipe & Save Promo website or Visa Go Explore.