Thursday, January 31, 2013

PGA Cars Launches Audi Q3


In a red carpet event last January 25, 2013 at Audi Global City, amid flashes of celebrities, special guests and media friends, Audi Philippines was proud to hold such a glamorous affair. What was a simple ceremony turned out to be a spectacular presentation. Not only did Audi Philippines show off its latest array of Audi model offerings, lovely beauty pageant winner and finalists graced the event.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mazda to Build New Transmission Plant in Thailand for SKYACTIV


Mazda Motor Corporation will construct a transmission plant with an annual production capacity of approximately 400,000 units in the Chonburi Province of Thailand representing an investment of 26 billion yen. Mazda has decided to establish the plant in order to respond to increasing demand for models featuring SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and to strengthen its global production footprint. Operations at the new plant will commence in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 2016.

CATS Motors launches all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class


CATS Motors, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the Philippines launched the all-new B-Class, the brand’s new premium compact. Heralding a new era in both design and technology, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is set to transform the entry-level luxury segment with its sophisticated design, all-new powertrain, and unparalleled safety.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Senate Approves Incentives to Manufacture, Import Green Vehicles


The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant incentives to the manufacturers or importers of alternative fuel vehicles.

Recto, who also sponsored the bill, said the enactment of Senate Bill No. 2856 or the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act into law, will usher an era of cheaper, cleaner cars that will reduce the country's dependency on the use of fossil fuels.

Petron Terminates Contracts of 21 Service Station Dealers for "Dumping"


Leading oil player Petron Corporation reported that it had terminated the contracts of 21 service station dealers for “dumping” activities. The company said that it ended its partnerships with these service station dealers over a 12-month period from January 2012 to January 2013.

Video: Volvo Engineer Attacks Spy Photographer


Whoever said it's easy to be an automotive spy photographer? Normally, you spend hours camped out in the weirdest locations just to catch a snap or two of a camouflaged car. Some car engineers will speed out of camera range and some will flip the bird at you. However, this Volvo engineer has taken things a bit too far and decided to attach the spy photographer.

Deciding the photographer has taken too much photos/video of the upcoming Volvo XC40 testing in the Rocky Mountains in the USA, a Volvo engineer actually steps out of his camouflaged vehicle, attacked the photographer, and broke his camera in the process. This isn't the normal Swedish levelheadedness.

Ford Continues Growth Story with Makati Ford Opening


Ford Philippines continues its aggressive growth in the Philippine market with the official inauguration of Makati Ford yesterday. Located in Pasong Tamo in Makati City (across CW Home Depot), Makati Ford sits on a 2,500 square-meter land area and has a total dealership area of 1,500 square-meters. Inside its premises, Makati Ford boasts of a 9-vehicle showroom and a 30-vehicle service capacity thanks to its 12 service bays.

Review: 2012 Honda Civic 2.0 EL

Photos by Ulysses Ang
We’ve already taken the 2012 Honda Civic 1.8 E (Thai-built model) on a full-blown test drive that lasted a week. Suffice to say, we weren’t so impressed the first time around. We concluded that Honda was doing their utmost best to ape a Corolla Altis, when they should have built a sportier compact.

So how would the Civic 2.0 fare? Will a bigger engine and some additional luxury trimmings turn the tide from utter beige-ness? Read on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Subaru BRZ Goes Racing in Japan with RA


Subaru is readying a racing-spec version of the BRZ straight from the assembly line. In fact, it's made to compete in the upcoming GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race series starting in Summer of 2013. Sadly, the just-announced BRZ RA will be offered for the Japanese domestic market only.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Something Big and Something Wonderful: Chevrolet Sonic and Trailblazer Ride and Drive

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Chevrolet’s exclusive importer and distributor, The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) started their 2013 with a bang after a fun-filled ride and drive activity that featured their two newest “babies”: the Sonic sub-compact and the Traiblazer mid-sized SUV. Although launched in the latter half of 2012, this is the first time most of the motoring media has sampled Chevrolet’s latest offerings. Overall, the consensus was these two cars are impressive, proving that Chevrolet is off to a great start this year.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Short Cuts: 2013 Ford Explorer V6 Limited

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Short Cuts”, where we re-visit cars we’ve driven and reviewed in an in-depth manner in the past. The cars featured in Short Cuts are simply additional variants and/or minor refreshes of models we’ve driven before, so we’ll cut to the chase and drill it down for you. Of course, we’ll give you a link to our full-blown review for your reference.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Honda Cars Philippines Announces Recall for Pilot, Odyssey


Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) announces a voluntary recall of vehicles subject for inspection of some 171 units of the Honda Pilot and Odyssey sold in the Philippines for the period of June 2012 to January 2013 that are due to potentially inappropriate installation of rivet in Driver’s Front Airbag.

Findings show that there are possibly some rivets which secure the driver’s front airbag cover and bracket that were inappropriately installed. As a result, the deployment characteristics of the affected airbags may change upon collision and driver protection performance may decrease.

New Mazda Distributor Starts Philippine Operations


After the formal signing ceremony held last September with Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan), Berjaya Auto Philippines, Inc. officially begins its business operations in the country as the sole distributor of Mazda vehicles, parts, and accessories as of this month.

BMW Celebrates 10 Years of Leadership in Premium Luxury Segment


Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, solidifies its number one position in the luxury segment, achieving the lion’s share of the market for ten straight years. BMW finished 2012 with a 33% market share in the luxury segment, mirroring a global trend that saw the BMW Group which posted an 11% increase year-on-year, its highest record ever.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Toyota Motor Philippines Officially Launches All-New RAV4


The RAV4 is a name conceived as a vehicle name suited for a compact SUV that matches its active, sporty, youthful and stylish image. This iconic name was derived from the first letters of the words; Recreational, Active, Vehicle and it being a four-by-four (4x4). In January, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) unveils the all-new 2013 RAV4 to join its strong commercial vehicle lineup. Based on the principles inherited from its predecessors, the RAV4 hosts new innovative features and enhancements for its lifestyle driven customers.

Toyota Motor Philippines Retains Triple Crown in 2012


Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) today announced that it achieved its 11th consecutive triple crown with no. 1 sales in the Passenger Car segment, Commercial Vehicle Segment and over all sales. For the year, TMP registered 21, 291 units in the PC segment and 44,105 units in the CV segment for a total of 65, 396 units while garnering 41.7% of the market. This performance is the highest the manufacturer has tallied since the start of its operations in 1988.  This record breaking sales performance was attributed to a higher growth registered by Toyota of 20% as against the industry of only 11%.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nissan Launches Almera; Ready for Sub-Compact Segment Assault

Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. rolled out the red carpet as it seeks a market resurgence with the arrival of their all-new Almera sub-compact sedan at a star-studded launch event at the Makati Shangri-La last night.

MMDA Warns of Road Closures from January 16-21, 2013


The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), through its Twitter page, has warned motorists of some road closures from Thursday, January 16 to Monday, January 21, 2013. This is because of re-blocking and road repairs in these areas.

The MMDA has cited roads in Quezon City, Pasig, and Valenzuela. These include:
  • Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City (Road 8 to North Avenue, SB second lane).
  • Congressional Avenue, Quezon City (Virginia Street to Visayas Avenue, EB, second lane).
  • Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City (Green Meadows to Tiendesitas).
  • McArthur Highway, Valenzuela City (Poblacion Road to Valenzuela City Hall, outer lane going to Malibay).
The MMDA has advised motorists to either avoid the area or expect heavy volume of traffic.

Suzuki Opens First Integrated Dealership in Makati


Suzuki Philippines Inc. (SPH) celebrates another achievement with the opening of Suzuki Auto Makati, the company's first integrated dealership in the Philippines. Located in San Isidro, Makati, the dealership carries Suzuki's automobile and big bikes lineup.

Aside from offering highly stylized and fuel-efficient Suzuki products, Suzuki Auto Makati is also 3s (sales, service, spare parts) shop. Suzuki Auto Makati is located at 2929 Bautista St. cor. Finlandia st., San Isidro, Makati City

Shelby Massages Focus ST, Production Limited to 500 Units a Year


Shelby American, Inc., a division of Carroll Shelby International is well-known for super tuned Fords such as the GT500 and its countless variations (including the recently launched GT500 Super Snake Wide Body). But what happens when Shelby sprinkles a bit of magic dust onto the Focus ST? The Shelby Focus ST is born.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mercedes-Benz Updates E-Class


Mercedes-Benz introduces the extensively updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring highly efficient engines, an array of new driver assistance systems and even more refined styling. No less than eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. They combine a host of comfort and safety features, referred to by Mercedes-Benz as "intelligent drive." These groundbreaking systems include technologies that can help prevent accidents with pedestrians or vehicles crossing in front, Active Lane Keeping Assist for avoiding collisions with oncoming traffic and anti-glare continuous high-beam headlamps. All this and more ensures that Mercedes-Benz maintains its pioneering role in vehicle safety. The new E-Class also takes a major step forward in terms of efficiency, thanks to the new four-cylinder diesel engine. An extensive package of design updates round-off the new and compelling features of the MY14 E-Class, delivering an accomplished combination of efficiency, intelligence and style.

Jeep Redesigns Grand Cherokee for 2014


Jeep has given its Grand Cherokee line some re-designs for the 2014 model year. And believe it or not, the changes are more than just skin deep. In fact, the Grand Cherokee features a slew of new engines, some drivetrain changes as well as exterior and interior changes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

HARI Ends 2012 with 8 Percent Growth


Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, ends 2012 on a positive note with 8% growth in total sales. HARI registered a total of 21,996 units sold for the whole year from 20,297 units sold in 2011.

Toyota Furia Concept is Glimpse at Upcoming Corolla


Toyota revealed the Corolla Furia Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This exciting compact sedan concept hints at the styling cues consumers can expect to see on the next-generation Corolla. The concept represents an exterior styling study by Toyota designers, and it builds on the brand's product development priority to develop more dramatic, expressively designed vehicles.

Honda Urban SUV Concept is Jazz-Based Crossover, Production Version to Launch End 2013


An all-new Honda "Urban SUV Concept" vehicle made its world debut today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The dynamic and youthful concept hints at the styling direction of an all-new small SUV slated to launch in Japan by the end of 2013.

Chevrolet Corvette Now Available in Gran Turismo 5!


As Chevrolet takes the wraps off the all-new Corvette Stingray, fans of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system will have the first chance to push the car to the limits in the critically acclaimed Gran Turismo®5 racing game.

Volvo S60 Chosen as IIHS Top Safety Pick+


The Volvo S60 sports sedan can add another award to its list of accolades after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the winners of their new Top Safety Pick+ awards.

IIHS created the Top Safety Pick+ award to recognize good or acceptable performance in the new small overlap collision test. The S60 is one of two midsize luxury vehicles to currently earn the Top Safety Pick+ award.

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. Top Safety Pick+ winners must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least four of five evaluations, with no less than acceptable in the fifth test.

Review: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Photos by Ulysses Ang
People of a certain age certainly remember the Willys Jeep—the formidable, but diminutive off-roader that conquered seemingly unconquerable terrain and in the process, was key in the liberation of countries, the Philippines included. The image of Douglas MacArthur, sporting his Aviator sunglasses and riding the Jeep was synonymous with the fight for freedom and democracy. It shouldn’t come as any surprise why the Jeep enjoys such a following; given the key role it played in helping the Philippines gain its independence.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Stingray is Back: Chevrolet Reveals All-New Corvette in Detroit


Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with today's debut of the all-new Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower and 610 Nm. It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.

Honda Offers New Year Treats


Holidays may be over but Honda Cars Philippines, Inc is offering improved treats for New Year. With more banks signing up, Honda has now expanded financing schemes that customers may avail through the Honda Financing Options (HFO). BPI Family Savings Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, BDO, PS Bank, Eastwest Bank and Unionbank are proud partners of the Honda Financing Options Program.

Lexus Releases Official 2014 IS Photos


Although the all-new Lexus IS compact sport sedan is expected to make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 15, 2013, Lexus has released some photographs as a sort of teaser.

Ms. Universe First Runner-Up Returns to Manila in an Audi A8


Ms. Universe First Runner-Up Janine Tugonon returns to Manila in the luxurious Audi A8 last January 7, Monday. Ms. Tugonon visited her alma matter University of Sto. Tomas for a motorcade and to receive the University’s Outstanding Achievement Award for bringing honor to her country. Ms. Tugonon has not only shown beauty, grace and exceptional intelligence in the recent Ms. Universe pageant but is a true winner which perfectly represents the innovative design and advanced technology of the Audi brand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Monopoly to Update Pieces, Race Car May Disappear

Starting today, the fate of the Scottie dog, race car, top hat and the five other beloved tokens in the classic MONOPOLY game is in the hands of fans through a worldwide vote that will determine which token will be eliminated from the game. Will the shoe outpace the racecar? Will the battleship cruise past the wheelbarrow? Will fans be pressed if the iron is removed? Don't leave this one to "chance" - it's up to fans to make sure that their favorite token will pass "GO!" and not "go directly to jail" by voting every day at Facebook.com/Monopoly, now through February 5, 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nissan to Officially Debut Almera on January 16!

Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. (NMPI) is welcoming 2013 with the official introduction of Nissan’s much-anticipated best selling global sedan – the Nissan Almera. NMPI will launch the all-new Almera on January 16th, formalizing its entry into the highly competitive B-segment.   

The Nissan Almera has been enjoying acclaimed success particularly in the U.S., Thailand and China, and has sold more than 500,000 units worldwide. NMPI is confident that its success will also be reflected in the Philippines.

Philippine Car Price Guide: January 2013

Happy New Year! This is the first edition of the Philippine Car Price Guide for the year. Normally, January is a very slow month for the motoring industry, but do not worry. There are some movements both up and down as well as some models that were sneakily introduced. Here are the updates for this month:
  • Honda Accord 3.5 EX (Japan Model)
  • Hyundai Accent CRD VGT
  • Hyundai Genesis 2.0 T
  • Hyundai Genesis 2.0 T Brembo
  • Hyundai Genesis 3.8 V6 Brembo
  • Hyundai Sonata 2.4 GLS Premium (price adjustment)
  • Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Limited 4WD
  • Kia Carnival LX (price adjustment)
  • Kia Forte 1.6 LX
  • Kia Forte Koup 2.0 EX
  • Kia Rio 1.2 LX
  • Kia Rio 1.2 SLX
  • Kia Rio 1.4 EX (price adjustment)
  • Kia Sorento (facelifted model)
  • Kia Sportage (price adjustment)
  • Mitsubishi Montero (price adjustment)
  • Mitsubishi Pajero (price adjustment)
  • Mitsubishi Strada (price adjustment)
  • Nissan Almera
  • Nissan Navara (price adjustment)
  • Nissan Urvan (price adjustment)
  • Suzuki Celerio 1.0 DX
  • Toyota Land Cruiser (price adjustment)
  • Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (price adjustment)
  • Toyota RAV4

Thursday, January 10, 2013

40 Cars to Watch Out For in 2013: Part 4 of 4


Barely a week has gone by, and it looks like it’s going to be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry. Building on the high of record sales last year and the continued robust growth of the economy (this year’s an election year after all), car manufacturers and distributors are setting their sights on 2013 to be an exciting year for those hoping to purchase a new car.

Although there’s no way to be completely certain of what’s going to arrive at a showroom near you, an educated guess (and some luck) is all that’s needed to find out what’s in store for the coming 12 months. Peering into the magical crystal ball, here is CarGuide.PH’s fearless forecast on the new and exciting vehicles that lay ahead this 2013.

Link to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

HARI President and CEO on Innovation Leadership at 37th Annual Convention of PCHA


Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo was Keynote Speaker at the 37th Annual Convention of the Philippine College of Hospital Administrators (PCHA). Held at the Century Park Hotel, Ms. Agudo aligned her presentation with the convention theme, “Beyond Vision—Knowing to Plan Your Hospital’s Future.”

40 Cars to Watch Out For in 2013: Part 3 of 4


Barely a week has gone by, and it looks like it’s going to be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry. Building on the high of record sales last year and the continued robust growth of the economy (this year’s an election year after all), car manufacturers and distributors are setting their sights on 2013 to be an exciting year for those hoping to purchase a new car.

Although there’s no way to be completely certain of what’s going to arrive at a showroom near you, an educated guess (and some luck) is all that’s needed to find out what’s in store for the coming 12 months. Peering into the magical crystal ball, here is CarGuide.PH’s fearless forecast on the new and exciting vehicles that lay ahead this 2013.

Link to Part 1, Part 2

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

40 Cars to Watch Out For in 2013: Part 2 of 4


Barely a week has gone by, and it looks like it’s going to be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry. Building on the high of record sales last year and the continued robust growth of the economy (this year’s an election year after all), car manufacturers and distributors are setting their sights on 2013 to be an exciting year for those hoping to purchase a new car.

Although there’s no way to be completely certain of what’s going to arrive at a showroom near you, an educated guess (and some luck) is all that’s needed to find out what’s in store for the coming 12 months. Peering into the magical crystal ball, here is CarGuide.PH’s fearless forecast on the new and exciting vehicles that lay ahead this 2013.

Link to Part 1

Review: 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.4 GLS Premium

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Erase everything you know about yesterday’s Hyundai Sonata. Forget those memories, delete those mental images. About the only significant thing the all-new model has in common with its predecessor is the name on the trunk lid. Completely redesigned for 2011, the Sonata dumps the consistent ho-hum nature in favor for something truly dynamic and exhilarating.

Monday, January 7, 2013

40 Cars to Watch Out For in 2013: Part 1 of 4


Barely a week has gone by, and it looks like it’s going to be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry. Building on the high of record sales last year and the continued robust growth of the economy (this year’s an election year after all), car manufacturers and distributors are setting their sights on 2013 to be an exciting year for those hoping to purchase a new car.

Although there’s no way to be completely certain of what’s going to arrive at a showroom near you, an educated guess (and some luck) is all that’s needed to find out what’s in store for the coming 12 months. Peering into the magical crystal ball, here is CarGuide.PH’s fearless forecast on the new and exciting vehicles that lay ahead this 2013.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: 2012 Hyundai Grand Starex Limousine

Photos by Ulysses Ang
When it comes to vans, particularly the refrigerator van variety, companies shun them to the deep dark corner of their showroom. They have a point after all—who would want to pair a shiny red sports car next to a white box on wheels. It’s like Seal being married to Heidi Klum—an odd union indeed. However, like this Hollywood odd couple, some car makers have embraced it; and one who does it best is Hyundai. Their Starex is now synonymous with the word ‘family van’, sharing garage space side-by-side with much fancier rides.

Get More than Just Gas with Petron Value Card

Petron, the country’s leading oil company, has come up with a value-packed card that rewards its loyal customers with rewards and privileges. The Petron Value Card is available to everyone who patronizes Petron products or services.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year from CarGuide.PH!

To all our readers and supporters,

Let me open first by greeting all of you with a Happy New Year! With the arrival of January 1, it’s clear that the world didn’t end and the Mayans (or at least how people interpreted their calendar) were completely wrong.

2013 marks the first full year since this blog started. Launched in November 2011, CarGuide.PH has slowly made its mark on the Philippine automotive scene. I’m not going to bullshit you—this blog will never be on the same scale as the country’s foremost automotive websites and, and neither will it ever strive to be. Nonetheless, 2012 has been a very fruitful and engaging year for CarGuide.PH (yes, this entire blog is written and maintained by just one person).

Over the course of the past year, CarGuide.PH has seen its readership rise from almost nothing to an average of 80,000 page views and 22,000 unique visitors every month. And all of this was done solely through ‘word of mouth’—no advertisements, no tie-ups, no anything. On top of that, CarGuide.PH launched its own Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and recently, Instagram channels. Now, the blog is accessible through mobile platforms and is available via an alternative URL (carguide.com.ph in case you didn’t you). Of course, the icing on the cake was the blog’s first Henry Ford Award for Automotive Journalism when I won for Best Online Feature Story (CarGuide.PH was also first runner-up in the Best Automotive Blog category).

Through CarGuide.PH as well as my contribution to The Philippine Star, I could honestly say I have already accomplished some feats. But there’s more to come in 2013. This blog will surely undergo changes, all to satisfy your automotive-related urges. I start 2013 with high aspirations, and with your help and support, CarGuide.PH will grow even bigger and will indeed be your guide to the Philippine automotive industry.

Cheers!

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