The Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) celebrated its 14th year this 2018, bringing new, old, and customized cars, new parts, and new industry players into the fray, all previewed inside the World Trade Center’s (WTC) massive hall.
MIAS organizer and co-founder Alvin Uy told Fast Times that the current theme, “Work and Play,” was chosen because of the assortment of cars, from reliable workhorses to cars for leisure, and customized cars that celebrate what’s good during the golden era of motoring in the present.
“We chose ‘Work and Play’ as our theme this year because we continue to see our cars play an important role in two of our most basic activities – our livelihood and leisure. As we consider that the automobile is an extension of ourselves, we’re excited to showcase the newest models of vehicles at the MIAS that reflect these choices. From various types of SUVs, pick-up trucks, sports cars, sedans, and passenger vans, which one can use for their work or play. We also have dedicated vehicles in form of trucks and commercial vehicles for the business sector,” Uy told Fast Times.
The overwhelming reception of MIAS has made an impact into the hearts and minds of petrol heads and non-petrol heads alike, thanks to the assortment of vehicles and aftermarket parts exhibited in the show. Even hobbyists and diecast collectors joined the fray by offering and selling diecast vehicles in a wide range of scales and sizes.
“We like to see ourselves as an all-in-one roof, though we used more buildings to house exhibits for customized cars, not just commercial vehicles. We also have a strong aftermarket display, and we used two buildings for it. That also helped us on what makes MIAS a standalone show, and for P100, you really get for what your money’s worth,” Uy added. For a mere P100, patrons got to see the launch of the new Ford Mustang drop top, Subaru’s new eyesight technology, Hyundai’s new KONA and Velostor, a rare BMW M1 from the collection of businessman Danding Cojuangco and Isuzu’s new engine technology.
The assortment of cars in the show made it a celebration of Pinoy car culture.
“Pinoys love cars. Even if there’s traffic or no traffic at all, they really love their cars, and no one’s going to stop them from buying more and more cars. Having no money at all doesn’t mean you cannot buy cars forever, as buying a car, whether new or old, is not prohibitive,” Uy said.
While distinguished from the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., which favors commercial vehicles, industry players also see MIAS as a ground for potential customers and sales, and a venue to help advance the local automotive industry.
“PIMS is more on substance than MIAS does, as it focuses more on form, though we support both of them. Both of them help us in promoting what’s new and special and help us with sales,” Isuzu Philippine Corp. Marketing Director Joseph Bautista told Fast Times.
Fernando Martinez, chairman for the new GAZ Motors in the Philippines, saw the show as an opportunity to promote new key players into the industry.
“MIAS provides a wider opportunity for Filipinos to see and explore brands they haven’t seen. It encourages entrance. We just don’t treat competitors as merely competitors, we treat them as fellow human beings who strive to excel. Therefore, we thank them for giving us the opportunity to prove ourselves, and we owe a lot to them,” he said.
“Cars are not just about power and beauty, but a responsibility – clean air, renewable energy – and that’s what we want to see. This exhibit is a good way to know where we are supposed to be going, and we need the private sector – the car companies – who can help us,” Department of Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos said in his opening speech for MIAS.
Healthy Aftermarket scene
This year’s MIAS also reflected a strong aftermarket industry with major players such as Wheel Gallery, PIAA, Blaupunkt, and ROTA wheels displaying their best to the delight of the patrons. Wheel Gallery placed its best foot forward with a custom built Jeep Rubicon equipped with massive 20×12 Black Rhino Armory and wrapped in 38×13.5×20 Nitto Mud Grappler Tires.
PIAA and Blaupunkt had their infotainment display strategically located at the lobby of the WTC. Patrons had their fill of Blaupunkt’s line of dashcams and in-car entertainment systems, while PIAA had their loud bass horns and a wide array of LED lights and fog lamps on display, and at special MIAS discounted prices.
ROTA, a local manufacturer of aftermarket wheels launched their ROTA 360 degree Flow Forged wheels. This lightweight wheel design combines forging and casting, which makes the wheel lighter and more durable. The 360 Flow Forged wheels are now available in certified ROTA dealers nationwide.
Motul PH left no stone unturned in putting on an impressive display of limited edition production units of G500 4×4 Squared by AMG. In stock form, the off-road monsters are serviced and maintained by tuning powerhouse Autoplus, exclusive distributors of Motul in the country.
PHOTOS BY DINO RAY V. DIRECTO 3RD