• 2016 Manila Auto Show opens

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    The 2016 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) opened Thursday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City and runs through Sunday.

    The annual car show, organized by events company Worldbex Services International, is now in its 12th year and features over 400 cars. The show also has over 270 booths by vehicle and car-parts manufacturers taking a total 30,000 square meters of floor space, including the neighboring Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC). Aside from new-car launches (covered extensively in Tuesday’s Fast Times), MIAS also features seminars on road safety, LTO-related matters and motorsports.

    In addition, the show gives potential car buyers and motoring enthusiasts the chance to test the newest and latest car models, as well as buy car accessories and lubricants at discounted prices. Car lovers who want something other than the latest and shiniest metal can also enjoy the Custom and Classic Car Competition at the PTTC, while Guinness World Record holder Russ Swift will delight crowds with his stunt-driving routines.

    Worldbex Services International marketing director JR Ang said he expects the show to bring in at least 110,000 attendees, a nearly 2 percent increase from last year.

    “The show used to appeal to just car enthusiasts,” he said. “But now, we are tapping ordinary car buyers by giving them a chance to look at cars side-by-side, as if they were in a giant showroom. This goes in line with this year’s theme of ‘Smart Mobility’ because we want to help potential buyers make informed purchasing decisions.”

    Ang also pointed out the show is buoyed by increasing car sales in the country, which he attributed in part to low auto loan interest rates making ownership accessible to more customers.

    Data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. or CAMPI showed that 288,609 car units were sold overall in 2015, a 23 percent increase from 2014, with more than two in five units coming from the passenger-car category.

    In addition, CAMPI said 23,808 units were sold in January 2016, which is over a quarter more than the same period last year.

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