‘Campi-han’ spells success for 4th edition of PIMSBy Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
When the biggest car manufacturers and distributors of the country band together to mega motor show, success is not too hard to achieve.
This is one classic case of teamwork. Someone quipped it’s Campi-han.
The recently concluded 4th Philippine International Motor Show organized by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) brought renewed hopes to an industry just recovering from a myriad of problems the past two years.
Hundreds of car enthusiasts filled the World Trade Center in Pasay City during the four-day event (August 16 to 19) to get a glimpse at what new vehicles were in the lineup for 2012 even for 2013.
The show enabled auto manufacturers to present their long-term goal of beefing up production of smaller vehicles and compact SUVs that have higher safety ratings, more powerful engine and better fuel efficiency.
“With the introduction of new car models, improved supply conditions, sustained consumer confidence, and the country’s thriving economy, we at CAMPI are confident that the local auto industry will attain our 2022 vision for the Philippines to be a competitive manufacturing base of motor vehicles and parts, serving both the domestic and export markets,” Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said.
He reiterated his group’s dream of turning the Philippine International Motor Show into a tourism draw—in the same vein that the Tokyo Motor Show has been drawing crowds from outside Japan.
“This is partly the reason we chose the theme ‘Drive the Fun,’ which rides on the resounding success of the Department of Tourism’s ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign,” Gutierrez explained.
Campi members were in full force offering their latest as well as upcoming models. Booths occupied by Asian Carmakers Corp. (BMW), CATS Motors Inc. (Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge), Columbian Autocar Corp. (Kia), Columbian Manufacturing Corp. (Daewoo Bus), Honda Cars Phils. Inc., Isuzu Philippines Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., Nissan Motor Philippines Inc., Suzuki Philippines Inc., Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., Universal Motors Corp. (Nissan light commercial vehicles), Dreamco Automobile Co. Inc. (JMC) and Lexus Manila Inc. presented their many models and variants.
Among the new models highly applauded were the aggressive-looking S-Concept version of the Suzuki Swift (of course, there were also the Kizashi, Celerio, Alto and the SX4 crossover); for Isuzu, it’s the NHR cab with Flexi Truck body option as well as its flagship, the 2013 Alterra Urban Cruiser X (there’s also the newly revised 2013 Sportivo X, the Crosswind XS, the 2012 D-Max Boondock 4×4 Special Edition, and the 2012 D-Max LS 4×2 Special Edition on display).
BMW made sure it will be noticed as it presented its sleek-looking BMW Z4 Roadster, the only vehicle in its segment to combine classic roadster proportions with a seating position close to the rear axle, rear-wheel drive, and a fully automatic retractable hardtop. Another exciting and fun-to-drive models presented was the 335i Convertible and the 6-Series Convertible.
Not to be outdone, CATS Motors, the distributor of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and trucks in the Philippines showcased the third-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class equipped with AMG Sport kit.
Toyota, which leads the industry with 40.8 percent market share, had the official release of the TRD and Aero sports coupe editions of the 86 sports car along with the TRD Limited Edition version of the Vios while its luxury brand Lexus unveiled the all-new 3.5-liter V6 ES350, the hybrid CT200H and displayed the P40-million LFA supercar.
Honda Cars announced it is back in the game as it presented its latest hybrid models, the Insight and the CR-Z. The Insight is a five-door hatchback that packs a four-cylinder, 1.3-liter i-VTEC engine and Honda’s latest-generation Integrated Motor Assist system while the CR-Z is a three-door hatchback powered by a four-cylinder, 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine.
Mitsubishi, on the other hand, unveiled the new Mirage a “Global Small Concept” car that the company is set to launch in October. The Japanese automaker also introduced the All-New Outlander and displayed the iconic Gallant VR4 that made its World Rally Championship debut in 1988 and won two rounds the following year.
Columbian Autocar Corp. previewed two new production vehicles namely the Optima executive sedan and the updated Sorento mid-sized SUV.
Probably presenting the biggest number of vehicles at the motor show, Columbian Manufacturing Corp. unveiled its latest Daewoo Buses, the BV115 and the BS106 models, which were all hand-built by Filipinos based in Laguna using Korean technology.
JMC Philippines, which is a division of Dreamco Automobile Co. Inc., a Filipino assembler of Chinese motor vehicles, launched two models, the Orion mid-size SUV and the Vigor pickup truck.
Nissan’s UMC finally unveiled the Juke compact crossover while NMPI presented the Almera sub-compact sedan and the iconic 370Z, which is designed in part by Filipino-Canadian Randy Rodriguez, who is also the senior designer at Nissan Design America in San Diego, California.
Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge concluded the daylong unveilings with the unveiling of the New Jeep, Grand Cherokee, 300C and the Town and Country vehicles. But what mesmerized the crowd is the unveiling of the concept model of the Mopar-tuned Dodge Charger Redline.
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