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Not many Filipinos are familiar with French cars, what with the market being saturated with Japanese, German, American and Korean brands plus a few Italian (Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini), British (Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI Cooper, Bentley, Rolls Royce) and Scandinavian (Volvo) units here and there. So when Peugeot, France’s largest auto maker, entered the Philippine market, it was expected to come up with a car that would truly impress everyone as only a made-in-France product could.
Japan is a country that embraces peace, tranquility, harmony and serenity. Unfortunately for some, it is a country that also embraces anonymity, uniformity and, due to a combined Buddhist/Shinto belief, aspires to a single consciousness, focusing always on the benefits of the many at the cost of the individual. Hence, you can be sure that should a wacky, outside-of-the-box idea comes to fruition, it has been thoroughly polished inside and out, allowing an individual’s will to surpass the boundaries normally found in Japanese society. We will take a look at some of them.
DESPITE being just a 4-hour flight away from the Philippines, Japan has been one of those difficult countries to visit in the past. Visa requirements were tough, the cost of flying to Japan being almost at par with flying to Europe and America, and whenever on Japanese soil, getting around is difficult because not everyone speaks English—most of them who do, well, have very thick accents which makes understanding difficult. Oh, it’s also tough to find a meal for less than $10 per person. And the taxi fare is out of this world!
For the first time since it was begun in 1954, the Tokyo Motor Show’s (TMS) symbol this year is a small dark blue car with a red heart beating at its center, ringed by bright orange, yellow, yellow-green and lighter blue colors. The pulsating heart stands for the passion poured by automobile manufacturers into developing the future vehicles which are showcased in the 43rd TMS. The warm red heart also signifies the carmakers’ hope that experiencing the “new future” of sustainable, eco-friendly mobility would energize and bring a smile to the faces of visitors.
In my 15 years of exposure to events management, I had helped organize several fuel economy runs. We had one eco run that required the participants to drive for 12 hours straight at the racetrack. In another one, we had the participants drive from the southern coast of Luzon to the north coast. We also had a run that required us to go from Luzon to Mindanao and back, and did that thrice. So in terms of organizing economy runs, I consider myself a pro.
Two days before the start of the Tokyo Motor Show 2013 here, the coverage of the national tragedy caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”) to the Philippines remains top priority for international cable news channels like CNN and BBC.
A car is probably the second-most expensive thing you will buy after a home. But unlike most big-ticket purchases that yield high appreciation value every year (like diamonds and gold), a car automatically loses about 20 percent of its value the minute it rolls out of the dealership.
Owning and operating a motor vehicle involves not only the acquisition cost, but also the cost of maintenance and repair. Most new car buyers have the Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) performed at the dealership where they bought the car, then go to auto service centers other than the brand’s authorized dealers for PMS after the warranty coverage has expired. But experience has taught me that even after your car’s warranty has expired, you save money and avoid hassle in the long run by continuing to bring your car to the dealership for PMS and/or repair.
I’ve been a car enthusiast longer than I’ve been writing about cars. I’ve always taken the opportunity to try out different types of cars, from exotics, full-blown project builds, brand-new luxury cars, bargain-basement econo-cars to just about everything in between. Naturally, my curiosity about hybrid and electric cars means that I’ve had the opportunity to sample them.
As Supertyphoon “Yolanda” left a wide trail of destruction on her wake, the motoring sector is once again scrambling to donate time, effort and funds to assist in the relief effort. Petron Corp. has announced that over 500 participating service stations will accept donations like food, water, clothing, medicine and toiletries under its “Sagip Alalay” program. Donated goods will be sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for distribution to the victims.