THE Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) recently celebrated its 11th year of staging world-class auto exhibitions. Held a fortnight agi, the show was held over 31,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor exhibit floor areas. MIAS welcomed more than 110,000 visitors during its April 9 to 12 four-day weekend show.
Last year, MIAS registered over 102,000 visitors and despite the extremely hot summer heat, the show this year generated an eight percent rise in visitor traffic.
A total of 22 automotive brands joined the show and held a record 33 new model launches, public debuts and previews. These included Ford’s all-new Everest, Expedition and the all-new Mustang, the Subaru Outback and Legacy, VW GTI, KIA’s all-new Sorento and Carnival, BMW 2-series Active Tourer, five new variants of the Chevrolet Trailblazer and a preview of the Trax, BYD Qin e-Vehicle, as well as eleven debuts of several new Mazda models that included the all-new MX-5.
The world’s best precision driver, Russ Swift, once again wowed the crowd with some new variants of his stunt performances using several Subaru vehicles.
The World Trade Center also underwent a major renovation on its massive façade that allowed an additional 1,000 square meters of floor space for MIAS to display its Hollywood-themed cars. Among the notable cars on display there was a 1980s Pontiac Trans Am that has been faithfully transformed into KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) of the Knight Rider TV series fame, a replica of the classic Mini Cooper of Mr. Bean and the Mazda RX7 Veilside car used by Han of the Fast and Furious 3 Tokyo Drift and current FF7 movies. The two Popemobiles, one of which was used in the recent Papal visit, was also displayed at the newly-renovated promenade in the driveway of the WTC.
Despite holding the event in two compounds, Worldbex Services International (WSI), the organizer of the event, constructed several air-conditioned connecting hallways joining the four independent structures. From WTCMM’s main building to its East Wing Tent Building, a 4,000m2 temporary tent building was also specially constructed to house its automotive aftermarket displays to provide additional floor area for more exhibits and a big food court area. The new layout provided a seamless connectivity from WTCMM to PTTC, where the custom and classic cars were displayed. This allowed visitors to hop from one building to another without having to go outdoors again.
To help manage vehicular traffic, the organizers also provided free parking and shuttle services at the CITEM area and the additional parking that opened on the open lot across CW Home Depot (Diokno and Jalandoni streets) helped provide the much-needed parking space. Visitors this year appreciated the more efficient shuttle service, thanks in part to BYD for providing two e-Vehicles to augment its fleet of shuttle vans.
The MIAS has been an annual pilgrimage for car buyers and enthusiasts who also bring their families to see what’s new and trending in the automotive market.