33 most influential people in the auto industry

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It’s always fascinating to pick the brains of people poised to shape the future of countless others.

In the automotive industry, there are world-renowned automobile designers, top executives in global headquarters, tycoons or taipans.

Some may have been born with their glorious destinies laid out before them, while others have had to work their way up the corporate ladder.

Wherever they’ve come from, however they’ve arrived at where they are now, there’s one thing in common: they’re bringing all of us along for the ride, and they’re inspiring us to dream of an even grander automotive destination for our country.

Alfred Ty

Chair, Lexus Manila, and Vice Chair, Toyota Motor Philippines and TMP School of Technology

The son of industrial icon George Ty, who recently passed on, is now himself a force to reckon with in the auto industry. During TMP’s 30th anniversary last Aug. 1, no less than Toyota Motor Corp president Akio Toyoda said of Alfred: “Mr. Alfred Ty committed to lead the way to the future of mobility in the Philippines.”

On the same event, Ty enumerated the three pillars of Toyota’s global campaign.

First, he said, was the need for a synergistic approach in long-term car-leasing and a modified ride-sharing business in collaboration with leading ride-hailing companies.

This meant coming up with a total value chain package that would allow affordability through flexible financing packages, deliver convenience for vehicle maintenance, and coming up with a trade-in facility for replacement.

Second was TMP’s commitment to work with various stakeholders to attain zero emission with the use of environment-friendly vehicles.

“Thanks to the incentive approved by the government for hybrid and electric vehicles, (the Prius) has become affordable to more conscientious buyers,” Ty said.

Third was the autonomous driving technology.

Richard L. Lee

Chairman Emeritus, The Covenant Car Company, Inc.

Lee still wields a powerful presence in the automotive industry circles up to this day. The executive responsible for several automotive brands has 40 years of automotive expertise and keen financial and business sense tucked under his belt.

The iconic Lee comes from a family known for pioneering and building an automotive business on the solid foundation of trust and integrity.

Ramon S. Ang

President and COO, San Miguel Corp.

What makes this tycoon extra remarkable in automotive circles is that he’s not just in it for the business, he’s a certified car enthusiast, gearhead and collector. So, from product planning to pricing, Ang knows whereof he speaks whenever the topic of growing the BMW brand in the Philippines comes up, notwithstanding that the mother company of SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp (SMCACDC), a motoring business unit that now imports and distributes BMW vehicles in the Philippines, has been more known for its world-class beer breweries.

Fernando Zobel de Ayala

President and COO, Ayala Corporation

Although FZA has not been that hands-on in the family’s automotive businesses, his presence alone in some recent auto events generates a sense of awe.

Many auto analysts foresee that FZA will be seen more frequently in such occasions in the coming months, as the 184-year-old corporation racks up two more car brands (Kia and Maxus) by the start of 2019, adding them to its already formidable automotive lineup of Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen, and KTM (motorcycles).

Robert Coyiuto, Jr. and sons Roberto “Ompee” Coyiuto III and Benedicto Coyiuto

Principals, PGA Cars Group

PGA Cars chair Robert, sons PGA Cars president and CEO Roberto III, and PGA Cars director Benedicto were mainly responsible for bringing into the Philippines the Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley brands.

Roberto III is the president and CEO of both Lamborghini Manila and Porsche Philippines, while Benedicto is the Audi Philippines head and Bentley Manila president.

The Coyiutos are proponents of the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia. Recently, Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG gave world-class certification to Porsche Manila for meeting its global quality criteria and service standards.

The aftersales center achieved a perfect score of 100 percent from Porsche AG in its aftersales audit, making it one of the top Porsche service facilities in the world.

This certification was officially awarded by Arthur Willmann, Porsche Asia Pacific managing director, and Martin Schlotterer, Porsche Asia Pacific Aftersales director.

The Germany-trained and gold-certified Porsche Aftersales team is comprised of highly skilled technicians that check and assess Porsche vehicles.

Fe Perez Agudo

President and co-founder, Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors,
and President and CEO, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.

Agudo is a 2014 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship (APEA) Outstanding category awardee. She was cited among the 2013 Women Icons of Entrepreneurship Awardee (Go Negosyo), and in the 2011 Ernst and Young Women Entrepreneur of the Year-Philippines.

She has over 30 years of experience and expertise in the automotive and real estate industries. Under Agudo’s leadership, Hari has been cited by Hyundai Motor Company four times as Asia-Pacific Distributor of the Year (2005, 2006, 2008, and 2013), and as Global Distributor of the Year in 2011 and 2016.

Hari recently released two international survey results that affirm Hyundai’s identity as the Filipino’s lifetime mobility partner. The 2018 edition of the prestigious Initial Quality Study by JD Power has Hyundai among the top three brands. This represents a big jump from Hyundai’s 8th-place ranking in 2017.

The Hyundai Tucson also received recognition from JD Power as the best performing among Hyundai vehicles in the survey. The annual survey measures the number of mechanical problems and issues that new vehicle owners experience during the first 90 days of ownership.

Hyundai has also been named the Most Satisfying Popular Brand in AutoPacific’s 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Hyundai ranked first in this survey of 58,000 new vehicle owners covering 40 criteria. Notably, the Elantra took the top spot in the compact car category.

Rommel Sytin

President, Foton Philippines

Foton vehicles first came onto Philippine shores in 2006 through Sytin’s United Asia Automotive Group Inc. (UAAGI), which has since been the exclusive distributor of Foton commercial vehicles in the country.

Sytin and his team, however, didn’t stop there. Foton Philippines built an 11-hectare assembly plant in the Clark Freeport Zone, and formally started operations on Feb. 12, 2016.

In Sytin’s opening remarks, he said: “This assembly plant is truly the ultimate goal that my brothers and I had.”

He also commended his Foton family “for showing much of their support in achieving one of the greatest milestones in the history of Asia’s largest vehicle manufacturer.”

Dennis A. Uy

Founder and Chair, Udenna Corp.;
Chairman and President, Phoenix Petroleum Holdings Inc.; and President and CEO, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.

Davao-based tycoon Dennis A. Uy has been described in this section as “a known Duterte ally and supporter,” which makes him one of those rare personalities whose influence crosses over from the business realm to politics, and vice versa.

Although no details about Udenna’s capital infusion and equity stake into its partner Autostrada Motore is publicly available, the partnership itself is seen to enable the Ferrari brand business to grow and compete against other luxury and supercar brands in the local market.

Felix R. Ang

President, Auto Nation Group Inc.

Ang continues to be a driving force in the Philippine automotive industry, earning a reputation as prestigious as the luxury car brands he proudly displays in his showrooms throughout the country.

In 2019, Ang and his group of companies will celebrate the 30th founding anniversary of CATS, major milestone in the legacy of the thriving CATS group of companies.

Ang leads the Auto Nation Group Inc., the authorized importer and wholesale distributor of premium automobile brands Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands in the Philippines.

From humble beginnings 29 years ago when he sold car parts, accessories, and tires under the CATS trademark, Ang today leads a thriving group of companies with a workforce of close to 500.

Atty. Reginaldo “Rey” Oben

Chairman, Oben Group

Rey Oben is one of the most powerful car dealers in the country. He was one of the pioneering Toyota dealers when the Balintawak dealership opened in 1990. Since then, the dealership has won four consecutive Dealer of the Year Awards or DOYA (1991-94).

In 1994, he opened Toyota Otis which has won two DOYA awards under large dealer category (2014 and 2017). In 1998, Oben opened Toyota North Edsa to increase service capacity of Toyota Balintawak.

Toyota North Edsa won the DOYA under small-dealer category in 2013. Also in 2013, the first provincial dealer under Oben’s group—Toyota, Marilao Bulacan—was opened. It won the DOYA in medium-dealer category in 2015.

In 2016, to increase its service capacity, Toyota North Edsa opened its service center in Mindanao Avenue. And just last Oct. 2018, Toyota San Jose Del Monte Bulacan was opened, making it the fifth dealer under the Oben group with one service center.

Willy Q. Tee Ten

President and Dealer Principal, Autohub Group of Companies, Inc.

Tee Ten holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at De La Salle University in Manila.

A businessman at heart, he has also been in the alcohol, sugar, and allied industries.

As president and dealer principal of the Autohub Group of Companies Inc., he is in charge of a network of car, motorcycle, and 3-wheeler distributorships and dealerships of multiple brands, as well as in car accessories and spare parts, automotive body and paints, after-warranty car repairs, car rental and leasing services, an automotive learning center, and aviation services.

With a presence spanning two decades, the Autohub Group is considered one of the fastest growing organizations in the automotive industry.

It also plans to expand its geographical reach and portfolio by adding a number of dealerships and brands for key market segments.

The Autohub Group manages various automotive and related brands such as Pagani, Rolls-Royce, MINI (Global City and Cebu), Lotus, Nissan GT-R, Piaggio APE, UM, Vespa, V-kool (exclusive distributor in the Philippines), Ford (Global City, Otis Manila, Davao, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, General Santos, Palawan, Dipolog, Tagum), Nissan (Ortigas, Quezon Avenue, Taytay, Sumulong Highway, Shaw Mandaluyong, General Santos and Butuan), Mazda (Otis Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos and Butuan), Hyundai (Pasong Tamo and Valenzuela), Foton (GMA, Cavite), Renthub (Car Rental and Transport Service Company), Autohub Car Care Services (repair and accessory shop for all car brands, and exclusive distributor in the Philippines of Roush, SJS, Arc Audio, Wagan, Diamond Brite Extang, Summitr, Canopy, Solid Fold, Mio Dashcam, Mifold, Diamon Fusion, Extender Frost, and Two Scents), Painthub (Automotive body and paint), Nexthub (after warranty car repair), and the Autohub Institute of Technology (automotive training center).

Tee Ten placed second in the 1984 licensure exams for chemical engineers, is a 2012 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines finalist, and the winner of the 2012 MVP-PLDT Bossing Award.

He is also St. Jude Catholic College’s Outstanding Alumni.

Atty. Albert Arcilla

President and CEO, The Covenant Car Company, Inc. and
President and CEO, Scandinavian Motors Corporation-Volvo Philippines

Arcilla was invited by Richard Lee (chairman emeritus of Volvo and Chevrolet) to join Scandinavian Motors Corp.-Volvo Philippines in 1994.

Through the years, he has acquired more responsibilities and expanded auto brand portfolios. Aside from Volvo, Arcilla now handles Chevrolet and MG.

Arcilla has headed the team responsible for the success of the Chevrolet brand in the Philippines since TCCCI’s 2009 operations began.

TCCCI is the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet automobiles and parts in the country, and has recently expanded its portfolio to take in MG.

He has also been leading Volvo Philippines for more than two decades.

Arcilla’s specialization has been Corporate Law. He was a legal technical assistant to then Tourism Secretary Peter Garrucho during President Cory Aquino’s term, and joined Garrucho again during President Fidel V. Ramos’ administration.

Wellington Soong and sons Marc and Jason

Principals, Autostrada Motore Inc.

This family of car enthusiasts has been responsible for bringing into the Philippines some of the most aspirational ultraluxury brands Jaguar (in 1997), Land Rover (in 2004), Maserati (in 2007), Ferrari (in 2011), and Aston Martin (in 2015).

Recently, Autostrada Motore Inc. decided to focus on the Ferrari and Maserati brands.

“Reflecting back through the years, it was always my fascination for classic cars and speed,” said Wellington, revealing his motivation for going into the business. That, and the family’s love for the brands’ heritage, and that rare opportunity to bring that one-of-a-kind motoring experience to a select group of motoring enthusiasts.

Felix J. Mabilog Jr.

President, Asianbrands Motors Corporation (Mahindra Philippines) and
COO, Columbian Group Automotive Assembly Plant

One of the most passionate, and fiery, veteran automotive executives is Mabilog, who doesn’t mince words, and says what he means. He used to quip that he would get sick if he wasn’t able to vent his disappointments.

Despite the short temper, the man has a disarming sense of humor, and would often inject a joke or two to ease tensions.

The 79-year-old is considered among the most veteran leaders in the industry, as he was involved in the introduction and development of seven different automotive brands.

In good health, and apparently good spirits, the former president of Columbian Autocar Corporation and Peugeot Philippines is still leading the charge in the companies he keeps.

His current major projects have been the launch of Mahindra Modern Jeepneys and the recent contract signing for production and delivery of 1,000 units to EcoDyip Inc., of which 100 have recently been delivered.

Marc Tagle

President, Aston Martin Manila and Philippine Allied Enterprises Corporation, and
President and CEO, Bridgestone Philippines

Marc Tagle sits at the helm of the Tagle Group of Companies.

Aside from PAEC, the exclusive distributor of Bridgestone in the Philippines, Tagle is also president of General Heat Corp, the leading manufacturer of kitchen appliances under the trademark La Germania by virtue of a licensing agreement with Bertazzoni SPA.

Two years ago, DBPhils Motorsports Inc, in which Tagle was chair and president, was officially appointed as the exclusive distributor of Aston Martin in the Philippines.

Rising from the ranks, he was one of the youngest CEOs in the local motoring scene. A car enthusiast, Tagle is also the lead salesman in his companies.

Felix “Bingo” Limcaoco

Managing Director, Lica Management

Among the most powerful names in the auto industry, ironically, is synonymous with the game of chance. But this man holds a mean winning streak, enough to make Lica Auto to become arguably the largest group of automotive retail and service companies in the country.

Its franchises include the Nissan, Chevrolet, Volvo, Hyundai, Honda, Suzuki, Kia, Foton and King Long brands.

The Lica Group website claims that: “On average, we attain no. 1 or no. 2 largest market share for each of the brands we carry, and deliver our services through multiple branches for each brand throughout the country. Our dealerships are consistently given awards locally and internationally for operational excellence.”

Spencer Yu

President, SMC Asia Cars Corp.

Yu assumed his post last July 1, but prior to that, he started in December 2017 with SMC as special adviser to the chairman.

Yu is an industry veteran who sharpened his industry skills with a variety of car brands and dealerships such as Honda, Lexus, and PGA Cars.

Yu stresses that, to achieve local success with a global brand, everyone in the team must share common goals, no matter what background they come from. And if there’s one lesson Yu values most from his experience of being a car salesman, it’s honesty.

“I may have all these fancy titles, but the chance to interact with the customers and make them happy, that’s the one closest to my heart. And for customers to trust you, you have to be honest with them.”

Liberato “Levy” P. Laus

Chairman, Laus Group of Companies

Probably among the most prominent names in the auto business to come from the province of Pampanga, Laus was most successful in expanding his business empire from northern Luzon to Metro Manila.

According to the corporate website, in 1978, Laus was already on an upward career trajectory in the banking industry, but he left his job as a bank manager to put up a small automotive dealership—three cars on display and funded with meager capital.

That mother company has since grown and expanded into a highly diversified conglomerate now known as the Laus Group of Companies. The group is now the largest multi-brand dealership network in the Philippines, with over 45 dealerships from Metro Manila, Central and Northern Luzon.

The Laus brands include Mitsubishi, Ford, Kia, Chevrolet, BMW, Hyundai, Mazda, Suzuki, Haima, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Carmix.

Elizabeth H. Lee

CEO, EMotors, Inc.

Lee is the first female to lead the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi).

EMotors Inc. has recently been honored with the prestigious BizNewsAsia Green Entrepreneurship Excellence Award “for demonstrating persistence and resilience in pushing electric vehicles and e-trikes that serve three goals—a low-cost renewable mass transport, job creation, and the promotion of SMEs.”

Multi-awarded, a social enterprise, an APEC green electric mobility partner, and electric vehicle maker, EMotors Inc. continues its “relentless commitment to achieve its objective of livelihood creation and climate change mitigation using sustainable, innovative zero-emission transport.”

Recently, the company added the five-star hotel Shangri-La at The Fort and the influential Philippine Retailers Association, whose members include large retailers like SM, Wilcon, and Robinsons, to its growing list of sustainability-conscious partner companies that also includes PepsiCo (PCPPI), 2GO, and the Astoria Group.

Lee explained that corporate partnerships leverage on three important factors: 1. innovative technology; 2. clean, sustainable electric transport; and 3. the demand for a quick point to point (P2P) mobility that relieves staff or customer stress and commuting pain points, all while helping decongest traffic.

Through its unique Mobility As A Service (MAAS) platform, EMotors provides an easy, efficient, and low cost way to serve the growing transport needs of companies, its employees and its clients.

Each MAAS project is crafted as a solution to the particular needs of every partner company.

EMotors provides a holistic approach using a strategically planned eco-system that benefits the roles of each stakeholder to include the drivers, the riders, the company, and the surrounding community.

“By working together, we co-create mutual value. We connect with visionary leaders and citizens who put importance in transforming the way we live, work, play, one that jumpstarts a radical change in how we move around our communities and lessen our impact on the environment,” said Lee.

“Our aim of touching lives and making a difference in the community we serve—be it a simple village, town, barangay or high-end communities, estates, multinational companies, and the like—our role as an entrepreneur and innovator plays a key part not only in communicating our agenda but in creating a real positive impact on the lives of many, one ZÜM electric vehicle at a time,” she added.

Rommel T. Juan

President, Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, and Director, Philippine Parts Makers Association

Juan has been an advocate of EVs since 2007. He led the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Summit last June 29 and 30, 2017 at the World Trade Center in the hopes of bringing to life the country’s dormant EV industry.

This gathered members from government and private sectors, local EV makers and carmakers, and representatives from Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand and the Philippines, among others, to form the Asean Federation of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Industries.

During the Summit, Juan revealed that Evap had submitted to the Board of Investments the Philippine EV road map for the next five years.

Juan also led the Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit held on July 10 and 11, 2018 at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia. This was the first time major manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Nissan and Hyundai joined the event.

“We organized the very first Electric Vehicle Drivers Advanced Training (evdat) a capacity building program advancing skills to ensure sustainable lovelihood alongside technological changes. Evap partnered with the Jaime Ongpin Foundation,” said Juan.

George Blaylock

President and General Manager, Diamond Auto Group of Companies; Chairman of the Board, Caleb Motor Corp. and Advan Realty Corp.; Managing Director, Pilipinas Taj Autogroup Inc (Tata Motors Philippines); and President, National Chamber of Automotive Dealers Association (1998-2016)

Blaylock’s long list of achievements as a leader now includes the recent opening of a stand-alone Fuso dealership along Quezon Avenue, which Blaylock described as “the first all-truck stand-alone dealership” for the brand.

Last Saturday, Blaylock’s Diamond Motor Corp. also won the national skills Olympics of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Inc.

George said: “The event entails categories in the following: technician troubleshooting, service advisor skills, quick service competition, warranty processor skills, sales competency category, and overall team competency. This is an event MMPC holds every two years and the team that wins represents the country to compete abroad.”

Having been among the most prominent Mitsubishi dealers in the country, Blaylock is the man behind Diamond Motor Group, a network of seven Mitsubishi dealerships.

The group also owns one Chevrolet and one Tata Auto dealership. Diamond Motor Group also acquired the first exclusive FUSO truck dealership from Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.

Blaylock is also among those responsible for bringing in the Indian brand Tata Motors. He is also actively promoting the jeepney modernization scheme of the government.

Atty. Rommel Gutierrez

President, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and
First Vice President, Toyota Motor Philippines

Gutierrez credits his Campi team for the successful launching of 7th Philippine International Motor Show held last Oct. 24 to 28.

He also recently became a director and treasurer of TMP-owned dealers.

Gutierrez has been with TMP for 18 years. He was awarded the 2016 C! Award for Corporate Achievement.

The award giving body cited his “leadership of Campi, a period marked with unparalleled growth and record-breaking numbers despite the challenges.”

Eddie S. Jose

Chairman and Founder,  VSO Group of Companies

The VSO Group of Companies is a group of original equipment manufacturers supplying the automotive industry with localized parts since 1977.

Heavily involved in the automotive parts industry, Jose is the Chairman of the Philippine Parts Maker Association(PPMA) and Chairman Emeritus of the Toyota Suppliers Club.

Internationally, he was also the first to be awarded by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan with a Special Overseas Recognition Award in 2014.

Raymond Rodriguez

President, Lexus Manila

Rodriguez is on his second year at the helm of Lexus Manila (he started January 2017). Prior to that, he was FVP at TMP for several years.

Under his term, the Lexus brand sold more than 1,000 units, a first since Lexus Manila started operations in 2009.

Rodriguez was also assigned to Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore for two years as a GM, handling Pakistan operations.

A licensed mechanical engineer, Rodriguez graduated with a BS Mechanical Engineering degree from the De La Salle University.

Vicente T. Mills Jr.

President, Federation of Automotive Industries of the Philippines

In his 42-year career in the auto industry, Mills been heading FAIP for 11 of them.

FAIP serves as the umbrella organization for many other members of Campi, the Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council Inc (Pacci), the Truck Manufacturers Association Inc (TMA), Philippine Motor Association (PMA), and Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association Inc (MDPPA).

Mills earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila in 1967, Masters in Business Administration at the Columbia University, Graduate School of Business, New York, in 1972, and his Masters in Business Economics (Candidate) degree at the Center for Research and Communication in 1981-1982.

Mark Tieng

Managing Director, Solar Transport and Automotive Resources Corp./BYD Philippines

Tieng revealed that BYD Philippines was the best marketing and after-sales in Southeast Asia, among all other BYD distributors this year. This, he said, by far is “the most significant award (that BYD Philippines earned).”

Since last year, Tieng’s team has been bringing in electric lithium ion-powered forklifts which, he said, “are changing the industry in logistics by offering more efficient and environment-friendly technology than lead acid-powered ones.”

BYD Philippines has also added the 7-seater plug-in electric hybrid executive SUV BYD Tang to its present roster of electric and hybrid cars. The 12 Tang units recently brought in has since been sold out.

Vince Socco

EVP, Lexus Asia

Approachable and easy to talk to, Socco has been mentor to many successful auto executives. His career with Toyota now spans 35 years.

He has endeared himself to many successful auto executives who have learned from his examples.

Just last Monday, I talked to him, and we reminisced about those days years ago when I was an upstart motoring reporter and he was already an SVP for TMP.

Socco is holding steady at Lexus, while also being an executive managing resource for corporate planning and external affairs based in Toyota Motor Asia Pacific’s regional headquarters in Singapore.

His phenomenal rise in Toyota has become the career template for Filipinos in the auto industry, as Socco is widely considered the highest-ranking Filipino in Toyota, or in any other auto brand, for that matter.

Peter “Sunny” Medalla

Regional Area Manager, BMW Australia, NZ and Asia

What a change a year makes. Last year, Medalla was still calling the shots at MINI Asia. Now, he is with BMW, and based in Singapore. “I have moved on to a new and exciting role in the BMW brand,” Medalla said.

His role as regional manager gives him the responsibility of overseeing the BMW business in one of the fastest growing regions of the world automotive-wise.

Wini Camacho

Mercedes-Benz Senior Exterior Designer for Production Cars

Back in 2012, this Mercedes-Benz designer was based at MB Design HQ in Sindelfingen, Germany. He had been visibly amused remembering old jeepneys bearing the Mercedes-Benz logo on their hoods.

He said that he found it “flattering, showing which brand they really value or look up to.” Camacho then had hinted that he was currently involved in a project that he was not at liberty to divulge.

During the last four years, Camacho has had a hand on the following Mercedes-Benz projects:

• Explorer and Powerful Adventurer—shown to the press in November 2016 in Stockholm, which previewed the production version of the X-Class;

• The prototype of the AMG GT Concept that previewed the latest AMG model shown at the Geneva Motorshow last March; and

• The early/mid part of the design development of the E-Class Coupe.

Randy Rodriguez

Tesla Creative Manager of Design

Thanks to Facebook, and despite a busy schedule, Randy Rodriguez has always found time to reply to queries.

In 2014, Rodriguez was still a designer for Nissan Design America (NDA).

Millennial car designers in universities must surely be rooting for him. After his stint with NDA, Rodriguez became Tesla’s creative manager of design.

Recently, his work was cited in the Form Trends, the premier vehicle design portal that discusses vehicle, transportation, and industrial design and the people behind it.

The topic was about how Tesla Semi could revolutionize the trucking industry. Form Trends writes, “Designed in California by a team led by Tesla design director Franz von Hozhausen, the truck isn’t a revolution in overall aesthetics—though the exterior design sketch clearly demonstrates the abilities of former NDA designer Randy Rodriguez.”

Rodriguez was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. In his personal website, it is written that his artistic gifts—as was his infatuation with cars—were evident from a young age.

He was able to combine these two passions at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan where he studied Transportation Design.

Metelo Arias

Marketing and Sales Director, Owner Connection Director, Ford Customer Service Division in Asia Pacific and China
(effective January 2019)

Arias’ new role would require him to go back to Shanghai for his new post effective January 2019. For now, he’s wrapping up things as Ford and Lincoln Middle East and Africa VP for Marketing, Sales and Service.

Arias is a certified Ford “globe trotter,” having worked for the brand from Vietnam to Shanghai, to Dubai. In his current role, Arias looks over the 56 countries that the Middle East and Africa regions cover.

Arias wrote that his team’s latest achievement has been the “turnaround of profitability of Ford Middle East and Africa for the past two quarters this year at the backdrop of a lower industry.”

He said last year: “There is no glass ceiling that limits the role you can have in the Ford organization. As long as you show your willingness to learn and [have] the emotional resilience to achieve the organization’s objectives, the company will provide opportunities to enhance your skills and put you in roles to achieve your personal goals.”

Anika Salceda Wycoco

North American Communications Manager for Lincoln, Ford Motor Company World Headquarters, Dearborn, Michigan

Wycoco’s career is humming along just nicely. From being the North American Product Communications and Launch Manager at Ford Motor Company, Anika has assumed a new role.

She wrote just recently: “Just last month, I was appointed the North American Communications Manager for Lincoln! We just wrapped the LA Auto Show where we held the global debut of the all-new Lincoln Aviator.”

After four years of working with the communications and broadcast division of Ford Motor Company in Michigan, Wycoco assumed her role in September 2017 where she led the planning and experience development for key auto shows, major product reveals and drive programs for the North American Communications Team.

After a year, her new appointment is now with Ford’s luxury automotive brand.

Ferdinand Raquelsantos

President, Philippine Utility Vehicle Inc. (PhUV)

Raquelsantos sent an just this Monday that PhUV—which has been engaged in the local manufacturing and assembly of EVs such as electric jeepneys, trikes and quads—recently won the Asean Business Award for Excellence in Innovation.

“As co-chairman of Technical Committee 44 of the Bureau of Philippine Standards, I and my team also completed in an expeditious process the establishment this year of the Dimensional Standards for Class 1, 2 and 3 of the modern public utility vehicle to replace the current public jeepney under the Department of Transportation program on Jeepney Modernization.

“As President of the Philippine Auto Parts Maker Association, the promotion of Industry 4.0 to local company parts industry has been a successful project.”

Lito German

Brand and Channel Marketing Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors

From being the retail marketing director of Abdul Latif Jameel (exclusive authorized importer and distributor of Lexus and Toyota in Saudi Arabia), Lito has moved up as the brand and channel marketing director for Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, one of the largest independent distributors of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the world.

German can be called somewhat of a “German journeyman.” Before moving into this current position and company in Saudi Arabia, German was regional director for BMW Motorrad, directly responsible for the overall management of the motorcycle importer business in East Asia.

Prior to that, German held the position of regional marketing director for BMW Asia.



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