Subaru says ‘Eyes’ have it
One does not hesitate to accept an invitation to attend the Singapore Motor Show and to cover the regional launch of the new Subaru Outback and Subaru’s latest EyeSight technology for many reasons.
Having attended many times since 2003, the Singapore Motor Show is a venue to catch up with familiar friends and faces in the industry.
It is also the chance to talk to Glenn Tan, managing director of Tan Chong International Limited (TCL), the parent company of Motor Image who led the opening ceremony of the 13th edition of Singapore’s only international motor show.
Tan is likewise the president of Motor Traders Association of Singapore, the association composed of major automobile stakeholders representing Singapore’s local auto industry.
Aside from Subaru, TCL also represents Nissan in some of the markets in SE Asia.
The Singapore-based Motor Image Group is the distributor for Subaru vehicles in the Philippines and nine other countries that includes Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Southern China Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and its home country Singapore.
Motor Image unveiled the new Subaru Outback and some Subaru models with EyeSight technology at the 13th Singapore Motor Show held at the Suntec Convention Center located at the heart of Singapore’s business district.
Tan is no stranger to spearheading motor shows, having participated in other major motor shows in their other market territories, including the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) as far back in 2006 when Motor Image became the distributor for Subaru in the Philippines.
One of his company’s signature events is the Russ Swift Stunt Show, started back in 2001, and which performed in Suntec four times daily throughout the five-day event.
Russ Swift was at the MIAS in 2006, and has since been regularly performing. He is expected to seen once again this coming April at the World Trade Center.
The Subaru brand is an important component in its portfolio, and according to Tan, the Motor Image Group had a banner year in 2017, having sold almost 25,000 units of Subaru vehicles collectively.
“The Philippine market is the third largest in our portfolio, after Taiwan and Malaysia. Our Taiwan sales have overtaken Germany, while our Malaysian sales overtook Switzerland already,” said Tan.
“Getting new customers to buy a Subaru is our greatest challenge, as we find that the salesmen from our dealerships struggle to explain the features of a Subaru. That is why we came up with a more interactive website and a very easy-to-understand video to reach out to our customers,” he added.
Motor Image is also trying to reach out to a growing millennial and tech-savvy market.
Tan further added that the Philippines will have Subaru models with the new EyeSight driver assist technology, with the launch date set for April 5 during the MIAS at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Members of the motoring media who attended the Singapore Motor Show were asked to test drive some Subaru models with EyeSight.
“We are thrilled to finally launch the award-winning Subaru EyeSight technology at the Singapore Motor Show 2018. EyeSight completes Subaru’s core technology pillars to present a wholesome and attractive package for customers who are looking for the highest standards of safety, driving performance and comfort in a car,” Tan said.
He enumerated Subaru’s four core pillar technologies: the Boxer engine, the all-wheel symmetrical drive technology, the new global platform, and the EyeSight technology.
EyeSight is a driving support system that uses a range of functions to assist the driver, providing a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
Using a dual stereo set of cameras, it can detect moving vehicles, obstacles, moving pedestrians, and traffic lanes much better than a single camera system, and it is programmed to mitigate and apply the brakes and/or reduce the throttle to avoid and minimize risk of collision.
The six main features of EyeSight are:
1. Pre-collision braking to warn the driver with a buzzer and light on the dashboard if there is impending collision;
2. Adaptive cruise control that can adjust speed by adjusting engine transmission, throttle and brake to keep the speed according to traffic flow;
3. Pre-collision throttle management that activates a warning beep, and cuts off the engine to avoid collision in case the car is put on “drive” instead of “reverse” and there is an obstacle is front;
4. Lane departure warning, to buzz the driver if the car is drifting into another lane;
5. Lane sway warning that comes with a buzzer and flash indicator; and
6. A lead vehicle start alert to warn the driver that the car ahead has already moved forward, which is very useful during traffic stops when the driver gets distracted while waiting.
For the Philippine market, the new Outback will have the 3.6-liter variant. This, as well as other models with EyeSight, will also be unveiled at the MIAS on April 5.