Getting Smart: The 12th Manila International Auto Show

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Fast Times brings the highlights of the country’s premier car show

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The Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) is one of the most highly awaited motoring events in the country.

For more than a decade, Worldbex Services International has been organizing MIAS to provide everyone, from new-car buyers to hardcore car enthusiasts, a place to see, feel and even drive the newest and latest cars in the market. Last April 7 to 10, the company presented the 12th iteration of MIAS at the World Trade Center and the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, with its theme of ‘Smart Mobility’ eyeing the future of the fast-changing Philippine motoring landscape.

To kick off the four-day event, a ceremonial ribbon-cutting program at the WTC’s lobby was held and was attended by VIPs, members of the diplomatic corps, industry icons and members of the motoring media. Big names included Worldbex Services Inc.’s Joseph Ang, Levi Ang, Jill Aithnie Ang, Rene Ramos, Tessie Roque, MIAS co-organizers Alvin Uy, Jason Ang and Ulysses Ang, AAP president Gus Lagman and guest of honor MMDA general manager Corazon Jimenez representing MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos, among others.

Presentation of innovation
MIAS 2016 showcased the most state-of-the-art technologies that are at the core of today’s most innovative automobiles and accessories, taking over a total of 30,000 square meters of indoor exhibition space, which is more than 24 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Attendees were able to witness first-hand the groundbreaking products of tomorrow, from cars that can maneuver themselves into parking spaces to vehicles with interactive cruise control.

With over 400 cars and 270 booths, car lovers were treated to a room filled wall-to-wall with cars. In addition, they found great bargains from exhibitors who sold car parts and accessories at the event. But more than that, MIAS also continued to forward its advocacy for better Philippine motoring by conducting seminars on road safety, LTO-related matters and motorsports, such as Ford Philippines’s ‘Driving Skills for Life’ campaign on April 9 and Motul Philippines’s ‘Drive Right’ campaign.

New cars and new brands
As ever, MIAS 2016 saw the launches and showcases of important new cars for the Philippine market. Among the brands that presented during the show were Chevrolet, with its new Sail sedan; Ford, with its special outdoor display; Hyundai, which brought in a range of trucks and commercial vehicles; Jaguar and its XE model; Jeep, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary; KIA with its Sportage model launch; Maserati with its Maserati Driving Experience activation; Mercedes Benz with its NGCC models – a new generation of compact cars; Mitsubishi with its new Montero Sport; Peugeot and its 308 GTi; the revitalized Ssangyong brand with its new line of cars; Subaru which debuted its updated Forester and Viziv concept car; and Tata with its Super Ace model. Other highlights were the new oils released by Motul for 2016 and the Military Jeep and Classic Land Rover x Araw ng Kagitingan display.

In addition, two customized tent areas and several outdoor exhibition areas were put up to accommodate a true MIAS institution – Guinness World Record holder and precision driver Russ Swift, who wowed throngs of adoring crowds with the world’s fastest parking stunts. Further down the road at the PTTC, attendees were in the presence of meticulously restored classics and outrageously customized sports cars that competed in this year’s Custom and Classic Car Competition.

Indeed, MIAS 2016 has blossomed from a mere display of cars to a grand spectacle that served as a melting pot for the vibrant and successful Philippine car industry, while showcasing the best and the brightest of Philippine motoring culture. For so long as cars are loved in this country, there is comfort in knowing that MIAS will open its floors for these wonderful machines.

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