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EVs making full charge

IT’S CLEARLY boiling down to a question of when, not if.

Supra natural sports car

THE FIRST-EVER SUPRA to be retailed in the Philippines is here -- taking its place as the flagship sports car of Toyota.

Refreshed BR-V bulks up on features

NUMEROUS CHANGES mark the mid-cycle refresh of Honda’s compact crossover, the BR-V. Formally launched last week, the updated vehicle was conceptualized by its designers with an “enhanced SUV image” touting a “masculine and premium look with its sleeker design and advanced features.”

BMW 7 Series plug-in EV to make PHL debut in July...

ON THE SIDELINES of the recent launch of the all-new versions of BMW’s Z4 and 3 Series, this writer had an exclusive interview with BMW Group Asia Managing Director Christopher Wehner. The executive had mentioned in a speech that the Munich-headquartered car maker was poised to systematically launch a total of 25 electrified vehicles by Year 2025.

Toyota: More tax relief for hybrids needed in PH

THE COUNTRY’S leading auto marque recently made a clarion call for the environment by pushing for greater adoption of, and enhanced government support for, its hybrid electric vehicle nameplate.

CVs drive Hyundai Q1 sales growth

HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai passenger cars and commercial vehicles (CVs) in the Philippines, reported a 12.5% sales uptick in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. HARI moved 9,949 units in the period compared to 8,847 in the first quarter of 2018.

Toyota unveils new Avanza

PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN -- Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) unveiled last Thursday the refreshed version of its popular multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Avanza. The new iteration banners a sportier look, reworked dashboard with a new infotainment system, and more safety features.

Isuzu CV sales get boost from Bohol dealer

IN APRIL, Bohol fuel distributor Universal Fuel Solutions (UFS) took delivery of two Isuzu EXZ and three Isuzu FVM trucks, and three Isuzu mu-X SUVs from the Isuzu Bohol dealership, which is part of the Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) network of authorized distributors.

Shell Eco-marathon Asia shows way to energy future

SEPANG, MALAYSIA -- It was a gallant stand, but the 11-member contingent from the Philippines ultimately fell short of their goal to gain podium places at the 10th Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia.

Auto Shanghai 2019 highlights

THE BIENNIAL 18th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (or simply, Auto Shanghai 2019) was a huge showcase and opportunity for automotive and related businesses to flex their muscles and trot out their best. Themed “Create a Better Life,” the spectacle was once again held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center which holds the distinction of being the world’s largest facility of its kind -- touting a floor area of almost 1.5 square million meters.

20 Isuzu jeepneys turned over to Tarlac co-op

BY VIRTUE of Department Order No. 2017-11, the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) was construed in June 2017 by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) as it envisioned a “restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely, and comfortably.”

AVID sales inch up by 8% in March:Auto sector starting to...

AS WE get deeper into 2019, more distance is being put between last year and its woeful effects on the local automotive industry -- largely because of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which came in effect in the beginning of 2018. To be fair, the measure, which effectively levied additional excise taxes on new vehicles while providing fiscal relief for hybrids and exceptions for electric vehicles and pickups, had been well-communicated before the axe fell in the beginning of 2018. Car buyers largely hung on to their checkbooks last year, even as the market saw a surge of late-2017 purchases.

Mega milestone reached:A million units sold for Mitsubishi in PHL

MITSUBISHI MOTORS Philippines Corporation (MMPC) officials are keen to point out that they have been in operation in the country for an unmatched 55 straight years, which speaks volumes of the faith they have in our economy.

Summer auto spectacle:MIAS 2019 a testament to industry health

THE annual summer spectacle that is the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) once again happened at its usual haunt, the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City. MIAS is known as the country’s longest-running and largest car show.

5 standouts at the 15th MIAS

THE MANILA International Auto Show (MIAS) is a well-known summer draw and, rightfully so, becomes an effective soapbox from which car brands announce and tout their accomplishments. It is also a favorite platform for unveiling vehicles. This year’s MIAS featured a handful of attention-grabbing rides worth saving up for (or at least salivating over). We compile here a handful (in no particular order) which we thought you probably noticed as well. Do you agree?

Audi Q8: Crossover Qandy

CAN an SUV be both large and fun? This seems to be the question that German carmaker Audi sought out to answer when its designers worked on the Q8. The first-ever in its lineage, the full-size luxury crossover SUV debuted in the market last year — with a regional unveiling in October by way of the Audi Brand Experience (ABE) Singapore.

This 4×4 is also a daily driver:Jeep wrangles a ladies’ man

GENERALLY, vehicles built for off-road driving are hardly known for subtlety, or even creature comforts. The ability to take on the most difficult of terrains often overrides the interest in providing finesse and refinement because, well, it just doesn’t look the part.

The conquering Cullinan:First Rolls-Royce sport-ute rolls into PHL

PURISTS may have screamed “Sacrilege!” at the mere idea of uber-luxury brand Rolls-Royce deigning to put out an SUV, but the fuss all surely looks like much ado about nothing now. It was a logical next step, anyway.

New BMW X5 arrives:Boss man cometh again

HOW appropriate it was for SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation (SMCACDC), official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, to mark the March 11 arrival of the popular Sports Activity Vehicle -- that’s BMW parlance for SUV -- BMW X5 with San Miguel Corporation president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang in attendance.

Jimny Eat World:Suzuki Philippines brings in all-new version of iconic ‘cute...

THERE were a few bright spots in last year’s automotive scene, what with the onset of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law, which effectively stymied a multi-year run of growth for the domestic industry owing to higher vehicle price tags, with a few exceptions.

Music and MG:Free concerts headline brand’s summer push

MG PHILIPPINES on March 9 kicked off the first in a series of live, free musical concerts dubbed “MG Live!” at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Autohub turns 20:Aims for bigger footprint

LET’S face it: The automobile sector is among the world’s cutthroat industries where competition at whatever price point is equally intense. The passion to succeed is expressed in the commensurate urgency to generate sales numbers.

Notte and nice

SEVENTY-five-year-old scooter brand Vespa has long reached iconic status around the world for its distinctive design and performance. One of seven mobility companies owned by Piaggio & Co. SpA, the brand has never shied away from evolving.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI: Executive chic in award-winning mid-size package

MUCH fanfare has surrounded the enthroning of the Q8 as Audi’s preeminent SUV. Supplanting the Q7, the mid-size Q8 is imagined by the Ingolstadt-based premium car maker as “[uniting] the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe with the practical versatility of a large SUV than can be used for both business and leisure.”

Toyota holds new Hiace’s world premiere in PHL

CONFIRMING the veracity of the buzz leading to the much-awaited launch of its new vehicle, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) presented the all-new iteration of its popular van nameplate. Unveiled on Feb. 18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taguig City was the sixth-generation Toyota Hiace.

Comebacking old guard:All-new Toyota RAV4 to target ‘niche’ market

TOYOTA Motor Philippines (TMP) continues to beef up its portfolio of sport-utility vehicles with the introduction of the all-new Toyota RAV4. Unveiled at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater in Taguig City on Feb. 8, the fifth generation of the compact SUV first seen in 1994 comes at a time when the global appetite for the ute continues to drive sales (one in every three vehicles sold worldwide is an SUV).

New subcompact sedan Soluto unveiled: Ayala presents revitalized Kia PHL

IT’S official: Ayala Corporation takes control of Kia Philippines. The rejuvenated brand was re-launched on Jan. 20 through a major event attended by Ayala officials, dealer-partners and other guests.

New Suzuki Ertiga serves up more MPV goodness

IT appears there are three value propositions Suzuki Philippines unanimously convey about the latest iteration of the Suzuki Ertiga MPV: “strong,” “elegant” and “stylish.”

Lexus marks 10 years in the Philippines

IT SEEMS that the tale of Lexus in the country is underscored by a defiance of odds. On Jan. 2009, during a period of global uncertainty brought about by widespread economic turmoil, Lexus Philippines pulled the trigger on its first showroom in the country.

Honda HR-V RS Navi CVT:‘Unboxed’ crossover goodness

INVARIABLY, consumers undeniably luck out with the escalation of competition -- regardless of industry. The SUV/crossover market is one such domain that has seen a spike in players, what with a world so enamored with the format -- to the tune of one vehicle in every three sold globally.

Of EVs and evolving energy

“THE prospect is extremely bright for EVs [electric vehicles] in the Philippines in 2019,” confidently declared Rommel T Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), in an interview with BusinessWorld.

How soon is now?Consumer Electronics Show an automotive event, too

THE doors to the 2019 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) open on Jan. 8 across 11 venues in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual event owned and staged by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is fancied as the “world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies… [serving] as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies… [a] global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.”

Divining the 2019 local automotive scene:Cloudy, with a chance of hybrids

2018 is about to be done and dusted and, truth to tell, many in the local motoring industry are heaving a sigh of relief.

UX crossover new Lexus entry point

APPARENTLY, Japan-headquartered luxury car maker Lexus doesn’t shirk from making bold predictions about the newest vehicle in its portfolio. There’s clear confidence in the UX, which the company debuted at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.

Refreshed, re-imagined:Bentley Manila showroom opens in BGC

A CAR showroom isn’t, and shouldn’t be, solely about selling cars, and premium luxury marque Bentley Motors subscribes to this way of thinking.

‘A-Class’ of its own:New-generation Mercedes-Benz hatch launched in PHL

FIRST revealed globally at this year’s edition of the Geneva Motor Show, the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has now made its way into the Philippines. Auto Nation Group, official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the country, last week unveiled the newest addition to its pantheon of vehicles while effectively serving as the entry point into its portfolio.

Ford Mustang 5.0L V8 GT A/T Convertible: Brainy beefcake

TRUTHFULLY, the Mustang is one of the few vehicle nameplates which register familiarity (without contempt) even if you neglect mentioning the brand behind it. A quintessential “macho” car since its golden era in the 1960s and 1970s, the Mustang is also a pop-culture icon which has had its Hollywood flirtations. An appearance in the 1964 James Bond adventure Goldfinger (starring the legendary Sean Connery) was timed to coincide with its US launch. And who doesn’t know the song “Mustang Sally”?

Vantage points:New Aston Martin coupe arrives in Manila

Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila EARLIER this month, Aston Martin was named Luxury Brand of the Year at the Luxury Briefing Awards in...

Honda: Future Brio teased via the Small RS, BR-V now PHL-made

TRUTH to tell, it seemed that the more popular displays at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) were smaller vehicles. One of them was the all-new Suzuki Jimny 4x4. The other was Honda’s Small RS Concept Car.

Toyota: TJ Cruiser leads brand’s new mobility concepts

THE centerpiece of Toyota Motor Philippines’ booth at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show was the Toyota TJ Cruiser concept model. Embracing the event’s theme of “Future Mobility,” the TJ Cruiser is a hybrid-powered vehicle that combines the luggage capacity of a cargo van with the imposing design of an off-road SUV, making it ideal for people whose lifestyles mix work and play.

Mazda: Defying convention through SkyActiv lineup

MAZDA at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show brought out its 2019 lineup featuring the latest evolution of its Kodo design language and SkyActiv technology.

Volkswagen: New Lamando, latest variants of Santana headline brand’s Filipino-theme display

Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila VOLKSWAGEN’s latest products made their public debut at PIMS, The new cars are the Lamando TSI DSG four-door...

Suzuki: Preview of all-new Jimny mini off-roader steals show

WITH the tantalizing unveiling of multiple units of a much-awaited mini 4x4 SUV badge, one could say that Suzuki Philippines (SPH) arguably annexed the 7th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) crown of popularity. Its scheduled opening program at the PIMS last week was an unmitigated hit -- packed with people who attended the revelation that eventually climaxed with a rousing musical number of a popular rock star.

Audi Brand Experience Singapore 2018: Present and future daze

THE biggest spectacle of the “four-ring” marque in this part of the world, called the Audi Brand Experience Singapore 2018 (ABE), took up over 8,100 square meters of the Sands Expo and Convention Center of the landmark Marina Bay Sands.

All-new Rolls-Royce Phantom launched in Manila

A GARGANTUAN vehicle that stretches nearly six meters, weighs three tons, and boasts a monstrous 6.7-liter V12 under an extended bonnet is the last you’d expect to be refined and silent. But over 800 engineers and designers in Goodwood, United Kingdom, beg to disagree because that’s how they, well, roll.