MIAS exhibitors get their fill of record turnout of visitors


The Filipinos’ love affair with anything with wheels were once again evident at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City last April 5 to 8.

A record 138,000 visitors—up by 7.8 percent compared to last year’s 128,000 visitor count—ogled at the over 200 exhibits, which included 28 car and truck brands.

“There would’ve been a bit more visitors if there were enough parking and less traffic on the weekend,” said MIAS co-organizer Alvin Uy.

Tycoon Danding Cojuangco’s 1978 BMW M1 edition—an instant crowd drawer for its colourful past—was the runaway winner of the most valuable car on display.

Crowd-fave Mustang

Uy, a classic car enthusiast himself, revealed that the M1 price when it was brand new was “about 37,000 UK pounds, and now valued around 450,000 UK pounds (or P33 million), if you can still find one.”

Automotive history is littered with cul-de-sacs, but few are as fascinating as the BMW M1.

The M1 made its debut at the Paris motor show in 1978. According to Octane’s classicarandperformance.com, in 1979, the M1 went on sale. All road cars had a 277 bhp straight-six and a five-speed manual gearbox.

The M1 restored in all its glory.

Standard equipment included black and grey interior trim, Recaro seats, air-con, electric windows and a Becker radio/cassette.

Most cars came with red, white or black paintwork, and all M1s have the steering wheel on the left. In 1980, a handful of cars were converted by California-based Automobile Compliance Inc. to meet US regulations.

This Tesla SUV is offered for rent as a bridal car, for P19,900 for 4 hours.

There were several other automotive conversation pieces at the MIAS (see related story) but the clear winners were the car brand exhibitors and their buyers.

Although most of the teams of these brands were still consolidating the results of their sales as of press time, the exhibitors said they were impressed with the visitor turnout, the increased level of interaction, and brand awareness of potential car buyers.

The Covenant Car Company Inc. (Chevrolet Philippines) said that it gained “a lot of positive feedback on its all-new Malibu, Colorado LTX and Trailblazer LTX” in the Chevrolet Play Hub, and had a “great turnout of inquiries and test drives.”

A mother and child posing for the dad.

Aligned with MIAS’ theme of Work and Play, Chevrolet Philippines provided its audience a photo booth, gave out free exclusive Chevy pins, provided test drive units, and gave visitors free MIAS-exclusive drones.

Chevrolet Philippines’ senior vice president and director Lyn Manalansang Buena told Inquirer Motoring that “MIAS has truly evolved into a great auto show, and we really enjoyed being part of it.”

Aspirational SUV from the three-pointed star German brand

Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s Makati dealer Gencars showcased the new RZ4E engine. IPC corporate communication manager Nora Lagunias Liquido who, along with her team, helped Gencars’ customer’s queries for the new engine, said that Gencars “received more inquiries this year compared to the previous year.”

Liquido said that the mu-X with RZ4E engine got the most attention among Gencars’ displays.

Liquido added that visitors “were all amazed that the Isuzu mu-X with the RZ4E engine can have good fuel efficiency ratings.” She said that “layout-wise, [the mu-X is] pretty much the same, though there are new interior trim options available.”

Foton EST tractor head

IPC assistant division manager for sales Joseph Bautista, in a previous interview, told Inquirer Motoring that this new engine can reach up to 40 km/liter.

BMW marketing director Karl B. Magsuci told Inquirer Motoring that “people gravitated towards our eye-candy cars, the M1 and the M4 DTM Champion Edition. Guests were also interested in what Motorrad had to offer as we were the only brand in the event that featured motorcycles.”

Magsuci also said that the BMW vehicle with the most number of inquiries was the recently launched all-new BMW X3.

Giant sign welcomes visitors to the 2018 edition of the Manila International Auto Show.

“We were not part of last year’s MIAS, but I can say that we did well in engaging potential customers during the motor show by offering exclusive driving experiences with their models of choice,” said Magsuci.

Magsuci added: “We are privileged and happy to be part of this year’s MIAS, as we were able to reach out to a significant chunk of the market and provide them with joy, which is the brand promise of BMW.”

Foton Philippines, in its ninth MIAS, has chosen to highlight its newly launched Blue Energy Euro IV program. Blue Energy technology powers Foton vehicles via the Euro 4-compliant Cummins.

Potential customers of the Xpander

Anna Maria Parado, Foton Philippines’ executive vice president, told Inquirer Motoring that its most asked-about vehicles are the passenger vans, particularly the 16-seater Traveller and Toano EX and Limousine.

Parado added that the all-new Toplander A/T SUV and the Thunder A/T pickup truck were also exhibited, with many inquiries for business and family uses.

MIAS-spotted: Car of the Year Honda CR-V

“The visitors of our booth have learned that Foton passenger vehicles and trucks are already Euro IV compliant, and propelled by the five facets of Blue Energy: power, reliability, durability, efficiency, and clean operations,” Parado said.

“Our wish for next year’s MIAS is for more exposure, particularly in the Truck Pavilion since we are also highlighting our Tornado trucks, the all-new Blue Energized Foton EST Tractor Head, and more light commercial vehicles,” she added.

Wrangler for the outdoorsy

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