Manila International Auto Show

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.

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History of the Manila International Auto Show

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..

MIAS 2009: Passion for Performance

Manila International Auto Show 2009 show was held over nearly 20,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor areas. MIAS welcomed more than 70,000 visitors during its April 2 to 5, 2009 run. They viewed 35 car brands from seven countries, including some vehicles never before seen on Philippine roads.

Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive Philippine distributor of Subaru automobiles, launched the new Impreza sedan. Glenn Tan, Group Chief Executive of Motor Image Group, was on hand to personally unveil the new sedan during MIAS opening day.

MIAS continued its tradition of showcasing new products and new cars. Five auto brands from China unveiled their new models.

Chana vehicles made a strong debut in last year’s MIAS under Focus Ventures Inc., the exclusive Philippine distributor. This year they unveil the Chana Starlight Jr., the subcompact version of the Chana Starlight.

Chery Motors, represented by Iseway Motors Philippines Inc., introduced five new models: a dressed-up QQ3, the QQ1.1 AMT, QQ’s sedan version – the QQ6, the Tiggo 1.6 liter MT variant, and a bullet-proof Tiggo compact SUV.

Lifan unveiled the Lifan 520, a sedan designed by automobile design firm Ricardo Plc. of UK.

Great Wall motors launched several models including the Peri. Plans are underway to put up showrooms for Great Wall in Metro Manila.

Foton demonstrated its Foton MPX. The 10-seater MPV has an XTEC chassis technology and steering system developed by Lotus UK, experts in chassis tuning, and manufacturers of highly desirable sports cars.

EVnnovations previewed its REVAi electric vehicle. The REVAi is a full-electric vehicle, running on lead-acid batteries. After an 8-hour charge from home or office 220-volt electrical outlet, the REVAi is ready to run for up to 80 kilometers, with a top speed of 80 km/h.

MD Juan showcased its Philippine-made e-Jeepney. The e-Jeepney is an electrically powered, zero-emissions vehicle that provides an alternative to the noisy, uncomfortable, and smoke-belching jeeps that we often see on Philippine roads.

The MIAS Custom Classic Car Competition held its second successful year, with more than sixty cars participating in a gleaming showcase of classic and custom vehicles. Taking the best of show was a pristine 1956 Pontiac Star Chief.

The European Mobile Media Association conducted a Sound competition at the MIAS grounds.

Capping the spectacle of MIAS was the return of Guinness world record holder Russ Swift, who once again demonstrated his driving skill behind the wheel of various Subaru vehicles. The new Impreza sedan provided an exciting debut performance with Mr. Swift behind the wheel.

Mercedes-Benz showed off the all-new GLK SUV, fresh from its recent launch. BMW exhibited a rarely seen 6-Series convertible. Jeep displayed its toughened-up variant of the Wrangler go-anywhere off-roader. Jaguar introduced the stunning new XF sedan to the MIAS crowd, while its sister brand Land Rover displayed its compelling Mitsubishi previewed the new Galant and displayed the new Montero Sport 4x2 and Evo X models. Honda showed off the new City. Hyundai, Isuzu Gencars, and Nissan displayed their regular line-ups.

Several OEM and aftermarket suppliers also graced MIAS. Bridgestone set up a motorsports-themed pavilion, appropriate for the exclusive supplier of Formula 1, as well as other top-tier motorsports. Yokohama showed off a classic Alfa Romeo in its area. Motolite celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an impressive display. AutoPlus Sportzentrium, distributor of Motul high-performance lubricants, displayed a gaggle of supercars in its area, including a Nissan R35 GT-R paired with a tuned R34. (For GT-R fans, there were at least four of them on display at MIAS.)Also in their booth was a Ford GT, a Shelby GT-500, and several rare Porsches. Tuason Racing gave a series of seminars on road safety. Repsol also highlighted its line of lubricants. Summit Media's BBC Top Gear Philippines was the event’s exclusive magazine sponsor.

MIAS 2008: Imagination in Motion

The 2008 show was held from 3 to 6 April at the World Trade Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. MIAS 2008 covered over 20,000 square meters of exhibition space—making it the biggest motoring event this country has ever seen. MIAS 2008 attracted 76,800 visitors (not including the exhibitors and their employees and associates).

As the only major motoring event for the first half of 2008, MIAS 2008 continues to be the venue of choice for launching new cars. This year, no less than 15 new models will make their public debut including several new car brands.

Seeing the growing trend towards cars as rolling works of art, MIAS takes the theme of “Imagination in Motion.”

Manila International Auto Show 2008 presented a total of 26 brands including Autohub, BMW, Chana, Chery, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, FAW, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, JAC, Jaguar, Jeep, Kama Trucks, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Sinski, Ssangyong, Subaru and Suzuki. Other notable exhibitors were Bridgestone, Michelin, Yokohama, Philippine Aluminum Wheels Inc. (Rota), and Autoplus (Motul Oil).

Summit Media's BBC Top Gear Philippines was a sponsor and primary media partner.

MIAS 2007: Modern Mobility

The 2007 show was held from 29 March to 1 April at the World Trade Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. MIAS 2007 attracted 68,000 visitors (not including the exhibitors and their employees and associates). Approximately 250 cars were on display within the WTC main hall and lobby.

Manila International Auto Show 2007 presented a total of 21 brands including BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, JAC, Jaguar, Jeep, Kama Trucks, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki. Notably absent in the commercial exhibits this year was the country’s biggest automotive brand Toyota, as were Audi, Porsche, Kia and Volvo. Summit Media's BBC Top Gear Philippines was a sponsor and primary media partner.

Highlights of the show included:

Mazda Wins the Best Exhibition Booth Award The Mazda Pavilion was chosen as “Best Exhibition Booth” this year because of overall design, difficulty in execution, architectural balance and harmony, adherence to its corporate identity and concept. The Mazda team received the award given to them during the third day of the show. A big photowall served as backdrop for its models and invokes the youthful lifestyle of the brand.

Ford Group Philippines has the biggest outdoor and indoor exhibition space With a total of 400 square meters of interior showcase and over 2,000 square meters of outdoor space consisting of a specially designed outdoor 4x4 circuit track, Ford has the biggest combined outdoor and indoor showcase in the recently concluded Manila International Auto Show. Visitors queuing up for their turn in test driving their favorite Ford SUV and pick-up trucks. A specially modified Ford Focus was also prominently displayed in their indoor exhibition together with some other models fitted with aftermarket bodykits and alloy wheels.

Hyundai puts out the biggest indoor single brand showcase With a total of 611 square meters, Hyundai has the biggest indoor showcase exhibition. Special space frame trusses were hoisted over their exhibition area that came with a plethora of halogen spot and flood lights illuminating its various models. Several photographic walls served as backdrops for its various models.

Formula Motorsports Philippines came out with the most exotic showcase Combining a mixed brand of 3 Ferraris, 4 Jaguar saloons and 3 luxury Range Rover SUV’s made Formula Motorsports Philippines came out with the most exotic showcase in the recently concluded show.

Hyundai wins the best presentation award With the public debut of its Veracruz, Elentra and Coupe, an oriental inspired dance number coupled with a professional singer was a big hit with the media who voted this presentation as the best among all the presentations made during the show. Several other exhibitors did their best to create a festive and lively atmosphere with lights and sound effects that made judging a tough choice to make.

Guinness World Record Holder Russ Swifts wows the MIAS crowd Subaru used 3 high performance sedans to be used in a series of precision stunt driving performances by Guinness Record Holder Russ Swift, who performed two-wheel, donut spin and the thrilling fist-tight parallel parking maneuvers at the backstage area of the World Trade Center. The world-famous British stunt driver was behind the famous stunt scenes of the movie “The Italian Job” and is a regular performer in the most prestigious international auto shows in the world.

Motul Nismo Skyline GT-R in Manila A Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 was specially imported for the MIAS exhibit by Autoplus Sportszentrum, the country’s exclusive distributor for MoMotultul Oil. The red Number 22 Motul-Pitwork Skyline GT-R was driven by Masami Kageyama and Richard Lyons in 2003 and won many victories in the fiercely competitive Japan Grand Touring Car Championship. The name Godzilla is appropriate, as it is accorded in Japan a demigod-like cult status, and was on loan courtesy of Nismo (Nissan Motorsports) Japan. Displayed beside the Godzilla was another Nissan Skyline owned by Autoplus. The highly modified blue colored Skyline GT-R was the country’s first car to break the 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) record.

MIAS 2006: Driving our Future

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 (198 kW) 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 (168 kW) 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 (410 kW) 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.

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