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The ripple effects of the current car sales slump

Based on figures released by official channels, the Philippine automotive industry is going through a downturn right now in terms of sales. Compared to January-June numbers in 2017, first-half sales this year are fewer by some 25,000 units. That’s certainly a substantial six-month year-on-year decline by whatever yardstick you measure it against.

To help Filipinos deal with inflation, DoE wants to bring back...

THIS year, the Filipino consumer has taken quite a beating with the passing of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act as well as the global inflation. As the prices of fuel and basic commodities have shot up, car sales have gone down. Even profligate Filipinos know when to pinch their pennies.

As cars multiply in our market, servicing them will be crucial

I used to collect Casio G-Shocks. Not sure what I was thinking at the time, but amassing an assortment of colorful digital watches seemed cute then. So cute my collection made it to Piece No. 42. It was fun being able to wear a different G-Shock each day, the choice being mostly dictated by the shirt color I happened to pick from the drawer.

Now 30 years old, Toyota PHL is stronger than ever

I dare you to truly wrap your head around this math: Two out of five brand-new cars that Filipinos buy today are from Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP). That’s 40%. An eye-popping number especially when you consider that more than 35 automotive brands — from the mass-market to the luxury — do business in the country.

Why choosing a company leader is crucial

Over the weekend, the automotive industry learned of the sad news about Sergio Marchionne being relieved of his concurrent roles as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CEO of Ferrari. This development came after the 66-year-old Italian executive had reportedly fallen into a coma as a result of complications sustained from his recent shoulder surgery.

The car is not the star

I’ve attended more car launches than my deteriorating memory can accurately recall, but I can confidently proclaim last Sunday’s BMW M5 debut as the most amusing one. It wasn’t because of production value. In fact, there were no fog machines, no balletic dancers, no executives descending from the rafters. There was only a simple backdrop that visually framed the car and the podium beside it. Quite a spartan setup for the arrival of a P14,790,000 high-performance German sedan, to be honest.

When traffic is bad and fuel is expensive, delivery will be...

Last week, I talked about some lawmaker’s wish to enact a bill that proposes the practice of telecommuting (or working from home). The desire is a natural offshoot of worsening traffic congestion. Stay home if you can. Stop adding to the problem. Makes sense.

Working from home has never had more appeal than now

One of the more popular bills to emerge from Congress in recent memory is the one that proposes to allow Filipinos to telecommute or work from home. With motor vehicle traffic not only in Metro Manila but also in other major cities in the country worsening by the day, not having to leave one’s house just to earn one’s keep is sounding more and more appealing with each passing week.

A good product line isn’t everything

When I was filing my motoring website’s monthly industry sales report last week, I couldn’t help but think that the automotive business is indeed a product-driven one. The brands that presently have the best vehicles tend to perform well sales-wise. But these best-sellers come and go. It’s a cycle.

Here’s how vehicle manufacturing can make a comeback in the country

When Ford Philippines announced in 2012 its decision to stop assembling vehicles in the country, you just knew it was game over for our automotive manufacturing industry. Sure, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Isuzu are still making a few models here, but their production is only for local consumption, so the volumes involved will never be huge. Ford used to export locally assembled vehicles to other ASEAN markets, but even those were small in numbers.

Banks themselves are complicit in irresponsible car purchases

We need to sit down and talk about an ugly truth in the automotive business: Many Filipinos who “buy” cars have no business doing so. And that’s because these “buyers” really can’t afford one. They just get enticed by insanely low down payments and the moronic desire to impress or keep up with the neighbors.

How important is brand value in the car industry?

I ask the question because the market research firm Millward Brown has just released its annual brand equity report called the “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.” In it, the biggest companies in the world are ranked according to their so-called brand value. So first, a definition: What exactly is brand value?

Good things happen when our market is taken seriously

I have spent more than two decades traveling the world attending car launches and driving the latest vehicles. For the most part, this is because the Philippine market has always been treated as a relatively insignificant territory vis-à-vis other countries that sell more cars. As far as product-planning is concerned, we have always been an afterthought.

Provincial dealerships sprout

Business is very good in the local automotive industry, which has seen continuous growth sales-wise in the last six years. In 2017, our market...

Sedans are officially an endangered species

In its recent first-quarter financial report, Ford Motor Company bared its grand plan on how to stay profitable in the foreseeable future, and this...

Is the auto industry not able to support the local motoring...

Motoring journalism was born out of the automotive industry’s need to promote its products. We members of the motoring press can act cool all...

The tricky process of bringing back a previously damaged car brand

On my automotive website (visor.ph), I recently told the story of a Pampanga-based businessman who is currently in the process of bringing Abarth and...

Did LTFRB drive Uber away?

If you have been a regular rider of Uber, you already know that the American ride-sharing company is pulling out of Southeast Asia (which,...

A car show in a country where public transportation sucks

Metro Manila had become so clogged -- so crowded -- that President Duterte declared in December that the megalopolis could be dead in 25...

Trust issues will now hound autonomous cars

If you regularly consume car-related content and you feel like you’ve been reading “autonomous vehicles” and “artificial intelligence” a lot lately, you’re not alone....

The luxury car segment and FOMO marketing

So we’ve reached the point where the advancement of technology in car design, engineering and manufacturing is so fast-paced that vehicle models are starting...

China to merge bank, insurance regulators in massive overhaul

BEIJING -- China unveiled plans on Tuesday for the biggest shake-up of government in recent years, including the merger of its banking and insurance...

One automaker is still working on its diesel technology

When the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer officially classified diesel exhaust as carcinogenic -- or cancer-causing, to put it bluntly...

Corporate culture makes or breaks the brand

When I went to Taiwan last week upon the invitation of the Dutch truck manufacturer DAF, the first order of the day was a...

Chinese automakers, Facebook, and how to cunningly ensnare the world

I joined the social-media platform Facebook in 2007. Back then, it was nothing more than a fun, harmless way to connect with friends and...

You collect automotive books? Read this

If you’re one of those who feel suffocated in the age of social media, you must be cheering every time you detect even the...

What would make you buy an electric vehicle?

As I sat through a presentation at last week’s “Nissan Futures” symposium in Singapore, my thoughts raced back to 1886, when German automotive engineer...

Too much monkey business

The New York Times article was pretty damning. In 2014, three German automakers funded a laboratory experiment in the American state of New Mexico...

Time to make our driver’s license expensive

I don’t know about you, but I got my driver’s license fairly easily. No, I did not pay a fixer to expedite the process,...

First, we park

My former art director and my one-time publisher at the automotive publication I used to work for, have put up a car-themed shirt brand...

The march toward electric cars is accelerating

For years, we’ve been hearing about electrification in the automotive industry and how global markets will soon be awash with electric cars. And for...

DoTr wants you to arrive for work within 35 minutes

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) is on a roll, kicking off 2018 like a possessed government agency that’s racing against time. Well, time is...

Merging LTFRB and LTO is good business sense

Before proceeding, I want to make it clear that I’m not a fan of House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez. Hard to believe in someone...

The year when we started considering not owning a car

If you’ve been following automotive news with any sort of regularity, you’re likely familiar with the concept of autonomous (or self-driving) cars. That is...

Car market trends you can expect with the new taxation scheme

By the time you read this, chances are President Duterte will have already signed into law the newly minted Tax Reform for Acceleration and...

How self-driving cars could change our world

If you haven’t been keeping tabs on the evolution of motor vehicles, you probably don’t know that we’re merely a few years away from...

The importance of trusting your gut

The customer is king, says the people-pleasing entrepreneur who constantly worries that negative feedback could shutter his business. I have personally worked for bosses...

How Chinese automakers are going for world domination

What if we wake up one day and the Chinese already own all of the global car industry? That’s a preposterous thought, isn’t it?...

You can always tell when a new car model is arriving

To be informed about the latest car introductions, consumers essentially rely on advertisements. The problem is that, for many of these new vehicles, the...

When your two passions sit on your wrist

There is a natural link between automobiles and wristwatches. For one, cars are used to race and beat time records all the time; watches,...

How I covered my first Tokyo Motor Show 20 years ago

By the time you read this, I will have arrived in Japan for the biennial Tokyo Motor Show (TMS), whose theme for its 45th...

Made in Japan

Back in 2008, my then-65-year-old and US-based father was about to buy his very first car. He wanted a Ford Mustang, which I thought...

With the Civic Type R, Honda officially reclaims its mojo

In the 1990s, when a dude wanted to impress both girls and other guys, he’d get a Honda Civic. The Toyota Corolla was the...

Let me tell you about my dinner with Maria Ozawa

Last month, Lexus Manila executive vice-president Ichiro Suzuki (yes, same name as the baseball player) sent me a text message, wishing to plan a...

Seriously, why are we still carrying car keys?

The other day, I had an emergency that needed the humble mobility of my personal car. Alas, my key was somewhere else, unwittingly forgotten...