VERNON B. SARNE

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When I was editor-in-chief of Top Gear Philippines, the country’s leading automotive magazine (and website), I often criticized the government for the horrendously executed license-plate standardization program that had dubiously awarded the plate-manufacturing contract to a supplier based in the Netherlands. The program was so obviously rushed and rigged that…

MAHINDRA ENFORCER DOUBLE CAB 4X4

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Two years ago, CAC Mahindra, the Philippine distributor of the Indian vehicle maker, created quite a media stir when it secured a huge fleet contract from the Philippine National Police, beating perennial front-runner Toyota. The new police car of choice? The Enforcer utility vehicle, which may be configured as a…

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Motor racing, admittedly, is a great way to promote the performance traits of an automotive brand. This year’s constructors’ champion in Formula 1, Mercedes-Benz, is certainly reaping all the positive PR points from its dominance in the series. But if you think about it, the German carmaker isn’t selling formula…

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If there’s one automotive market in the world that has so much impact on our vehicle choices, it’s Japan. The top two auto companies (Toyota and Mitsubishi) in our market by virtue of sales are Japanese, while their compatriots also move healthy numbers. And so when folks from the Land…

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I’m old. And when you’re my age, you’re allowed to spew random trivia from decades ago, and you will somehow sound credible. So let me pull out that I’m-44-and-I-was-already-conscious-when-Marcos-ransacked-this-country card, and tell you stuff you (probably) didn’t know about the Toyota Corolla, which you might also know today as the…

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Arguably the most stylish car in Lexus’s product line, the IS sedan is a popular model in the luxury segment. The current, third-generation model is particularly stunning, and remains so even three years after it was introduced to the global market in 2013. But as with any other automobile that…

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There are Formula 1 drivers to whom winning is everything—the only thing that gives their existence meaning. Guys like Ayrton Senna, who famously said: “I am not designed to come second or third; I am designed to win.” Or Michael Schumacher, who was so hooked on winning that he just…

SUZUKI JIMNY JLX MT

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These days, when you mention “SUV” to a Filipino car buyer, the image of a curvaceous midsize vehicle immediately comes to mind. That’s because it’s one of the hottest segments in our local car market right now. Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Everest, Isuzu Mu-X, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Toyota Fortuner—there certainly is…

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When I became an automotive journalist in 1995, one of the hottest models in the Philippine market was the Honda Civic. We had the fifth-generation model then, whose legendary hatchback version had been used by Honda Cars Philippines to take advantage of the government’s “People’s Car” program to be able…

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