The Manila International Auto Show is the Philippines’ biggest motor show in terms of visitor count, cars on display, and exhibitors. The show, previously known as The Manila International Motor Show, is an annual venue for car buyers and enthusiasts alike to take a closer look at the latest models and significant concepts from the Philippines’ premiere auto makers.
History of the Manila International Auto ShowEdit
In South East Asia, the Philippines is one of the seats of automotive history. In the years after World War II, the Philippines became an attractive venue for foreign investment. Japanese companies seeking to expand their market penetration established factories in this country. There were notable early successes: In 1955, Mercedes-Benz established an assembly plant in the Philippines that was the first in the world outside of Germany, to produce its E-Class sedan. In 1972, GM established a jointly owned vehicle and transmission manufacturing operation in the Philippines with two Philippine companies. In 1979, Isuzu Motors invests in the venture, GM Pilipinas, Inc.
During the Martial Law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, foreign investment dried up, and most car companies shuttered their operations in the country. Stalwarts such as Toyota and Ford stopped producing and selling cars. GM Pilipinas’ assembly and transmission plants ceased operation in 1985. With the restoration of a credible government, and establishment of freer trade policies, the Philippines was again back on the map. Soon, carmakers were establishing new facilities in the region, and the Philippines attracted it share of investment.
In a land once called the Pearl of the Orient, where “Jeepneys” and “Calesas” were once the king of the road, Manila is now positioning to be an automotive force to reckon with. With production figures inching closely to pre-Asian crisis volumes, the automotive industry appears to be shifting to a higher gear.
The clamour for growth and the need for the automotive brands to be showcased in a forum for new model debuts became the impetus to stage the first ever Manila International Motor Show. For this very reason, motoring writers Jason K. Ang, Ulysses K. Ang, and Alvin Uy approached Joseph Ang, Chairman of Worldbex Services International and talked about the idea of holding an international grade and industry-based auto show. Joseph Ang, an events and tradeshow veteran, quickly grasped the idea and announced the holding of the first ever Manila Motor Show held April 2005 as a tribute to his late father, who was in the automotive dealership business before his passing.
In 2006, the MANILA INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW, was presented by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and legitimate establishments and partners in the automotive industry.
In 2006, the show ran from April 6 to April 9 at the World Trade Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. The 2006 show marked a much larger show with these major exhibitors: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia Motors, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, and Toyota. Aside from static displays, numerous test drives were available.
Car launches included 8th generation Honda Civic, the Jeep Commander, the Chrysler Pacifica luxury wagon, the new Toyota Previa, the 265 horsepower Nissan Murano, the new Kia Rio sedan and hatchback, and the new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
The exhibitors announced an amazing array of special vehicles and never-before seen road cars. Mitsubishi Motor Philippines displayed their rally heritage with the Dakar-winning Pajero Evolution plus the Lancer Evolution IX MR and the Eclipse 3.8 V6. Ford Group Philippines flexed their compact car muscle with their 225 horsepower Focus ST and Focus DuraTorq diesel. Mercedes-Benz previewed the future of motoring with demos of the F-Cell hydrogen-powered fuel cell car, as Isuzu demonstrated its Elf Hybrid truck. Toyota’s TF105]] [[Formula One racecar represented the company’s motorsports ambitions. The evocative 550-hp Motul Ford GT was certainly another crowd drawer.
The theme for 2006 focused on alternative fuels and energy efficiency. In the midst of rising fossil fuel costs, a lot of car manufacturers are gearing their R&D efforts towards this direction. Among the vehicles to be put on display is DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell car cleverly mounted within a standard A-Class chassis. Also on display is an Isuzu Elf Hybrid truck. The Elf hybrid expands the possibilities for Isuzu’s diesel technology, and brings it to new levels of efficiency and clean emissions. Both Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu conducted symposia on fuel-cell and hybrid technology during the show.
The 2007 show is scheduled from 29 March to 1 April at the World Trade Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.
The 2008 Manila International Auto Show will be held from April 3 - 6, 2008 at the Philippine World Trade Center on Roxas Boulevard. With a dedicated floor space of 20,000 square meters, this will be the largest motoring event in the country's history. This year's theme is "Gateway To Asia" and will feature various highlights including an appearance of the # 22 Motul-Pitwork 350Z JGTC race car and by Englishman Russ Swift, the Guinness Record Holder for precision driving in The Russ Swift Precision Stunt Driving Show. The show will also host a number of car debuts for the Philippine market:
- Subaru Impreza / WRX / WRX STI
- Subaru Tribeca
- Dodge Nitro
- 2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C180
- Honda Accord
- Chana marque
- BMW M3 Coupe
- BMW X5
- BMW 120d Sport
- Ford Everest / Ranger
- Ford Focus TDCi Sport
- Chery A5
- Kama Trucks
- Suzuki APV Type-II
- Mitsubishi Lancer / Lancer Evolution X
- Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 GLS 2WD
- Jaguar XF
- Land Rover Freelander 2
The venue will be opened between 10 AM - 10 PM. Admission is Php 50.00 for adults.