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Friday, February 27, 2015

Mercedes-Benz is Premium Mobility Partner of APEC 2015 Summit

In a signing ceremony held last February 17, 2015 between key representatives of the APEC and Auto Nation Group, Inc., Mercedes-Benz was designated as the premium mobility partner of the APEC 2015 Summit.

BMW Dominates Premium Segment in Philippines

Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, delivered a total of 722 units in 2014 to mark its 12th consecutive year of leadership in the local premium automotive segment. Through ACC, BMW registered an 11 percent increase in sales locally.

Hyundai Veloster, ix35 Fuell Cell on Display at Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2015

Hyundai, the official mobility partner of Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2015, is showcasing its vision of innovation that promotes energy-efficient motoring. Working hand-in-hand with Shell, Hyundai is aiming to both educate and encourage key stakeholders of the automotive industry in taking the earth-friendly route.

Michelin Takes Challenge of Greener, Safer Motoring at Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2015

Michelin, in global partnership with Shell, welcomes back the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia (SEMA) for its second year in the Philippines at Luneta Park, Manila today until March 1, 2015.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs the Competition

The original hot hatch is finally here: the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Although the GTI nameplate has been around for a while in Europe, it’s the relative new comer here in the Philippines. In this match up, the Golf GTI is pitted against the Filipino favorites: Subaru WRX, MINI Cooper S, and the Toyota 86.

UPDATED: The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is Here (w/ Complete Specifications)

Photos by Ulysses and Volkswagen Press
UPDATE (1): We pit the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs its rivals. Click here. (2/27).

The Philippines is finally getting a good taste of the coveted European hot hatch flavor with the official arrival of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. After a lengthy preview that started at the 5th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), the seventh-generation Golf GTI is finally here. An award-winning sporty compact that has won the world over with its technological leadership and sporty prowess, the all-new GTI aims to carry that tradition and continue to be the sustainable, attainable sports car.

Chevrolet Opens Isabela Dealership

Starting the year 2015 strong, Chevrolet Philippines – The Covenant Car Company Inc. cements its presence in the Cagayan Valley region with the inauguration of its newest dealership - Chevrolet Isabela. As the 2nd largest and one of the most progressive provinces of North Luzon, the Queen Province of Isabela is expected to be a sizeable market for Chevrolet.

Hot Rods Dominate 2nd Leg of NDRC Northern Series in Clark

Instead of the usual Japanese-powered machines, it was pure American muscle that dominated the 2nd leg of the 2015 National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC). The quickest of which was William “Bill” Hand in his custom 1933 Ford 2-door Sedan aptly named named “Blue Haze.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Subaru Achieves Two Manufacturing Milestones

Subaru announced that total cumulative production of the brand’s trademark horizontally-opposed “Boxer” engines has reached a milestone of 15 million units. The 15-millionth milestone was achieved in the 49th year since Fuji Heavy Industry (FHI), Subaru’s parent company, developed the engine in the Subaru 1000 compact passenger car in May 1966.

Honda Motor Co. Announces New President

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that Takahiro Hachigo, currently the company’s Managing Officer, will become Senior Managing Officer effective April, and will become President, Chief Executive Officer, and Representative Director in late June 2015. Meanwhile, current President, CEO, and Representative Director Takanobu Ito will remain onboard as Director and Advisor to Honda Motor.

Isuzu Re-Opens Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban

In a ceremony headed by the Senior Counselor of Isuzu Motors Limited Japan (IML) Mr. Yoshinori Ida, the Isuzu –TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban, Leyte reopens its doors on February 16, 2015 to all the trainees who went home after Typhoon Yolanda (with international name of Haiyan) damaged its facilities.

Chevrolet to Bring Disney Magic into Showrooms

Expect Chevrolet showrooms to continue offering ‘magical’ experiences as the local arm of one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers turn to another global brand to help take customer service to new heights.

Ford Manila Bay, Iloilo Named Dealer of the Year

Ford Philippines recognized its top performing dealers at the 2015 Annual Ford Dealer Convention held last February 6 at the Filinvest Tent, Alabang.

The annual Dealer Convention brings together Ford’s dealer principals and their employees to celebrate and recognize individuals, teams, and dealerships who delivered exceptional results in the areas of sales, service and customer satisfaction throughout 2014.

Review: 2015 Mazda3 Speed

Photos by Ulysses Ang
The Mazda3—take a minute and just look at it. Now, wipe that drool off your face. This is the compact car that defied the norm, the one that actually shouted back and said: “The compact car market isn’t dead.” Where other brands began focusing on crossovers and SUVs, this one acted as the great foil. It connected with buyers and pundits alike and once again rekindled the love affair with the compact car. It’s been the single biggest success story for Mazda Philippines and the one that showed everyone that a great product backed up with aggressive pricing results in countless happy owners. But as cutting-edge and fully-featured as the Mazda3 is, buyers naturally wanted more. They wanted more style. They wanted even more features. In short, they wanted the definitive Mazda3. And here it is: the Mazda3 Speed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Good Stuff: Porsche World Road Show 2015

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Porsche Philippines Press
Porsche is a name now eponymous with style and speed. Throughout the decades, the dream makers in Stuttgart have come up with objects of desire. But for all the talk about their design and brevity, there’s one thing that ties all of them together: engineering. At the core of every 911, every Cayenne, every Panamera lies precision work making them feel like they’ve been cut from the same piece of cloth—a cloth dipped in both heritage and tradition, in ingenuity and cleverness.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Volkswagen Philippines Launches Polo 1.6 Hatchback (w/ Brochure)

Volkswagen is always seen as “the people’s car”, responsible for democratizing transport and allowing the regular folk to drive a brand-new automobile as long as she or she saved enough. So when the German brand re-entered the Philippine market last year, its premium price positioning caught everyone, including its loyal fan base by surprise. This year, Volkswagen Philippines is rectifying it by introducing an affordable yet well-designed and well-engineered car that’s aiming to be “your first German car”. Meet the all-new Volkswagen Polo hatchback.

UPDATED: The 2016 Hyundai Tucson Looks Like a Baby Santa Fe

UPDATE 1: We just took it out for a spin around Capiz to Caticlan (9/8).

Hyundai has just taken the wraps off the all-new Tucson and they’re hoping to push the envelope with its cutting-edge design and available technology. The third-generation compact crossover represents a significant step forward for the Korean carmaker and aims to be the poster child for the tagline, “New Thinking, New Possibilities”. It’s powered by a wide range of engines and, for the first time, will be made for Europe (at least for the European market).

Philippine Car Price Guide: February 2015

In this update of the Philippine Car Price Guide, there are some new additions as well as minor revisions. Keep yourself updated:
  • Chevrolet Sonic 1.4 LS (new model)
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x2 L (new model)
  • Honda City 1.5 XV MUGEN (new model)
  • Honda Jazz 1.5 V MUGEN (new model)
  • Hyundai Accent 1.4 L (new model)
  • Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 E (new model)
  • Hyundai Grand Starex (price update)
  • Isuzu Crosswind (new model)
  • Mitsubishi L300 XB (new model)
  • Nissan NP300 Navara (new model)
  • Toyota Alphard (new model)
  • Toyota Prius c (new model)
  • Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TSI Comfortline (new model)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

UPDATED: Isuzu Philippines Revamps Crosswind for 2015 (w/ Video)

UPDATE 1: We included the official promotional video below (2/21).

With a body and mechanicals largely carried over since its full model change in 2001, it’s a surprise how the Crosswind sells in the numbers that it does. You can chuck it most likely to Isuzu Philippines’s Corporation’s constant stream of updates which sees the venerable and immortal people carrier get annual cosmetic or equipment changes. And here’s the 2015 update which not only sees more cosmetic alterations but also introduces a new logo as well as a new marketing tagline.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: 2015 Volvo XC60 T5

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Everyone is familiar with Volvo’s sterling reputation for safety, and in recent times, for attractive design. Not too long ago, with the introduction of the all-new S60 sedan, Volvo even took a stab in injecting some so-called naughtiness into its machinery. And while all those adjectives are welcome, Volvo has never really caught on with the premium car buyer, despite some excellent offerings.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Honda Launches Drive to 25 Raffle Promo

To show appreciation to its customers, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. After-Sales Service launches Drive to 25 Raffle Promo which runs from February 9 to March 31, 2015.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Land Rover Updates Evoque for 2015; Adds 2 New Variants to Line-Up

One of the most successful Land Rover vehicles ever made, the Range Rover Evoque embodies the style, sophistication, and of course, the go-anywhere and do-anything attitude associated with the iconic British marque. Building on that success, LRPhils Motors, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Land Rover vehicles in the Philippines formally announces the availability of the 2015 Evoque—a model that’s been vastly improved and revamped to keep it at the cutting-edge of tech and design.

Volvo Philippines Launches R-Design Models with Night of the Arts (w/ Brochure, Video)

Volvo Cars Philippines launches its new 2015 R-Design models with the first-ever Volvo Night of the Arts. During the event, Volvo honored six influential and esteemed personalities in various fields of the arts. The six honorees are: Joanne Rae Ramirez, the late Jose “Pocholo” Ramirez, Raymond Lauchengco, Rolando Laudico, Ramon Orlina, and Randy Ortiz. Coming from different artistic backgrounds, they all embody the characteristics of the all-new R-Design models—dynamic, bold, and innovative.

UPDATED: 9 Things You Want to Know About the 2015 Mitsubishi Strada

UPDATE 2: 2015 Strada has officially launched! (3/20).

UPDATE 1: Here is the official Philippine brochure. (3/7).

This year certainly is shaping up to be a pickup year. Nissan released the first salvo just a few weeks back with the launch of the all-new NP300 Navara. Now Mitsubishi is following suit with their highly-anticipated all-new 2015 Strada. A huge delegation of motoring press flew all the way to Japan to sample this all-new pickup truck late last year and was sworn to secrecy not to spill its secrets. That is, until today.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nissan Unveils Le Mans Challenger: GT-R LM NISMO

Nissan is declaring itself ready to take on the world’s best sports cars manufacturers as it unveiled its Le Mans challenger, the GT-R LM NISMO. And in a bold move, Nissan has interpreted the sport’s technical regulations in a very bold way.

Raffle Winner Brings Home All-New Honda Brio

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) turned over an All New Honda Brio to Leigh Anne Nagata whose name was picked out from a thousand entries to Honda’s Drive the Holiday Spirit raffle promo last December 2014, held at Honda Cars Calamba (HCCL).

Meet Kia's New Mascots

Kia Motors has created a new way to reach out to its youth and family audiences, with the introduction of fun and friendly mascots known as Enzy and friends. These characters were created with the youth in mind, and inspired by Kia’s own brand personality – vibrant, distinctive, and reliable.

Toyota Motor Philippines Garners 46.7 Percent of PHL Auto Market

Based on the most recent CAMPI report, the number one automotive company in the country, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), starts 2015 strong with 8,709 units in January garnering a 46.7% share of the automotive market. The said manufacturing-automotive company experienced a 23% increase versus its sales last January 2014 outpacing the industry’s growth of 19%. The robust sales performance can be attributed to the continuous high demand for its locally manufactured models the Innova and Vios as well as other vehicles in Toyota’s strong line-up.

All-New 2016 Honda Pilot: This is It

The Pilot, Honda’s mid-sized three-row crossover, has certainly been long in the tooth. Thankfully, it’s been given a top-down change up with the all-new model that just debuted at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The all-new Pilot promises to continue where the old model left off. It will be more modern, refined, and confidently capable than ever while unfortunately, looking every bit like a CR-V on steroids. Styling issues aside, it certain looks to be the next preferred soccer mom transport out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Subaru Levorg Goes to Europe and this Dramatically Increases the Chance of Seeing It Here

After saying that its Levorg (essentially a WRX wagon) will remain a Japanese Domestic Model (JDM), Subaru has officially revealed that they will now start to sell it in Europe. Proof? The Japanese car company has revealed their show outline for the upcoming 85th Geneva International Motor Show and one of them is the Levorg. It will be shown with European specifications for the very first time.

PGA Cars Presents The World of Super Cars

Photos by Ulysses Ang
PGA Cars, Inc., the Philippines’s exclusive distributor of some of the finest high-end automobiles in the country showcased the best that they had to offer at The World of Super Cars held at the SMX Convention Center. Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley all had their latest offerings on display as well as some iconic ones for the public to see up close for the first time.

Monster Jam Thunders into Manila June 20-21 at Mall of Asia Arena (w/ Video)

American-based Feld Motor Sports has announced that monster truck juggernaut Monster Jam is headed to Manila for the first time ever, debuting at Mall of Asia Arena on the 20th and the 21st of June for three exciting shows, with ticket prices starting at PhP 850.

Ford Offers 9 Romantic Tips this Valentine's Day

Can you feel the love tonight, or are you feeling more nervous, anxious, scared and worried? Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether this is your first time to celebrate it or not, the pressure is always on to create the most romantic day for your loved one.

Foton Philippines Now Offers Five-Year Warranty on Thunder and View Traveller

Foton Philippines is once again raising the bar when it comes to customer service. In the past two years, Foton has managed to launch creative and unique customer services that set them apart from other commercial vehicle manufacturers and distributors. For instance, they launched Foton Smart Solutions, a GPS-based vehicle tracking system as well as Foton Total Care, an all-around ownership package that addresses each aspect of ownership. Now, it’s joined by a generous warranty program.

Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Breaks Record by Achieving 1,647 km on One Full-Tank

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) is pleased to announce the success of the fuel economy driving event dubbed as the “Mirage G4 Eco Drive Marathon”. This historic and record-breaking project was conceptualized to prove the fuel efficiency and eco friendliness of both the Mirage (Hatchback) and the Mirage G4 (sedan). Two Mirage G4s (one with manual transmission and one with Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT) and one manual transmission Mirage hatchback were put to this fuel economy challenge. This is the first time that an automotive company took the challenge to put its vehicle on an activity that will test and determine not only its fuel efficiency but as well as its true power and performance. To ensure the fairness and objectiveness of this Eco Drive Marathon, a representative from the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) was commissioned to closely supervise and monitor the entire run.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Foton Philippines is Distributor of the Year

After seven years of operations in the country, Foton Philippines has finally bagged the distributor of the year award at the recently concluded Foton Motor Distributors Business Conference. Exclusively distributed in the country by United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI) beat out other distributors for the top prize and was cited for their best practices when it comes to dealer development, sales, marketing, and aftersales service.

When is the All-New Mitsubishi Montero Sport Coming?

We all know the all-new 2015 Mitsubishi Strada is coming really, really, really soon. And because of an embargo, we can’t really spill the beans yet (you’ll have to wait a few days for our full story). However, at the sidelines of the technical presentation, the first inevitable question asked was when we can expect the all-new Montero Sport. It’s quite logical given the Strada and the Montero Sport share the same basic platform and drivetrain.

Aston Martin to Enter Philippines

Contrary to what other rumor-mongering newspapers and online outfits would want you to believe, the business empire of Mr. Wellington “Willie” Soong has been great. In fact, it’s growing. Case in point: they’re adding yet another luxury brand to their stable. Philippines, welcome Aston Martin.

In the Aston Martin World Dealers Conference held in London, UK, Andy Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., congratulates a visibly happy Mr. Soong. Mr. Soong has been appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor of the British sportscar marque. Aston Martin will be distributed through a new company, DBPhil Motorsports, Inc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review: 2015 Subaru WRX STI

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Tuners love tinkering with cars. No matter how it appears or performs, they always find something to adjust, re-tune, or re-work. One perennial crowd favorite has always been the Subaru WRX STI. Leaving the Gunma, Japan assembly plant already packing horsepower figures north of 300, tuners have found ways to extract a whole lot more performance the moment they get their hands on one of these famed ‘rally cars for the road’.

Maserati Grows 252-Percent in SEAP Region Ahead of Levante SUV Arrival

Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati announced a 252 percent increase in 2014 sales in the South-East Asia and Pacific region (SEAP) compared to the same period in the previous year. The growth was driven by the launch of the new Ghibli, Maserati’s first four-door sports executive sedan, and the brand’s flagship model, the Quattroporte. The Ghibli accounted for just over 60 percent of retail sales in the region.

Tripda Raises US$ 11-million Series A Funding

Tripda, the global carpooling social network that made its Philippine debut in October 2014, has announced an $11 million Series A funding round by Rocket Internet and other investors, including top tier US venture capital funds.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Audi Bags Multiple Awards in December 2014

Audi is on the winning streak as the German premium car brand won several awards by the end of 2014 for technology, performance, design and safety.

Ford Philippines Delivers Best January Yet; Sales Rise 52 Percent

Ford Philippines today showed that its momentum in 2014 continued into the new year by reporting its best-ever January performance with retail sales jumping 52 percent year-over-year to 1,637 units.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tiu Posts Back-to-Back Victories at the NDRC Southern Series

Jonathan Tiu bagged another overall victory at the 2015 National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC), which had its first Southern Series at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) last January 31.

The JCT-Blanche driver didn't have the most ideal start to the race weekend. Not only had he recently recovered from a minor illness, but also had to deal with drivetrain issues in his “Tiunami 1” Nissan GT-R on race day. Lacking four-wheel drive, the team had to reduce the engine’s enormous power output and allow different traction control strategies in order for the car to compete in the day’s races.

Ferrari 488 GTB is the Newest Turbo Addition to the Family

Ferrari opens up a new chapter in its history by unveiling the 488 GTB—the newest car in the Prancing Horse’s stable to pack a turbocharged engine under its shapely body. The successor to the widely successful 458 Italia, the 488 GTB is Ferrari’s newest mid-rear-engined V8 sportscar that’s been designed not just for track use, but for everyday driving as well. Utilizing all of Ferrari’s engineering know-how from Formula One, World Endurance Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and even the XX program, the 488 GTB has been tweaked to deliver incredible performance.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CAGI Publishes Fuel Economy Benchmarking Test

The Car Awards Group, Inc. or CAGI, known for its annual Car of the Year – Philippines and Truck of the Year – Philippines awards has come up with what they hope as a standardized way of measuring fuel economy of vehicles in the Philippines. According to CAGI, simply relying on data provided by overseas entities such as the US’s EPA, Europe’s NEDC, or Japan’s JC08 standards cannot accurately capture pertinent data for two reasons: first, because the models sold in the Philippines may vary from what’s sold in the US, Japan, and Europe; second, because it doesn’t capture driving habits here in the Philippines.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hyundai Partners with Shell for Lubricants Globally

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, has established a new five-year global business cooperation agreement with Royal Dutch Shell plc, the international energy and petrochemicals business. The agreement, signed on this week means that Shell retains its status as an officially recommended lubricants supplier for Hyundai vehicle worldwide.

Chevrolet Disrupts Super Bowl Program (w/ Video)

Minutes before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, Chevrolet shocked 100 million viewers into thinking that their TVs had failed – only to command their attention seconds later to the Chevrolet Colorado, the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year®.

2015 Nissan NP300 Navara Ushers In the Philippine Pick-Up Wars (w/ Brochure)

“Let the truck war begin,” stated a visually gleaming Antonio ‘Toti’ Zara, Nissan Philippines’s President and Managing Director. He has every reason to be ecstatic. Just a few seconds before marching up the stage, he literally pulled it, band and all, using the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara. The rock concert theatrics isn’t new (Ford pulled the same feat with the Ranger back in 2002), but Mr. Zara’s warning shot against the competition is well-founded: Nissan is bring its big guns to the fight.