Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top 5 Picks for 2014


2014 is a renaissance of sorts for the Philippine automotive industry. Record-breaking sales (topping north of 200,000 units), tons of events, and a great number of new entrants—for those covering the industry, it’s been a very busy year. Therefore, picking just the top five cars/vehicles of the year isn’t easy, but it’s something we have been doing for the past three years now (2013, 2012, 2011). As always, we don’t break it down into categories or classifications here. This is pretty straight to the point. No bull crap here. There are only two rules to be considered for CarGuide.PH’s Top 5 Picks: first, we should have driven it; second, it must be mainstream (no cars above PHP 4-million).

Now that we’ve put everything in order, let’s get on with CarGuide.PH’s Top 5 Picks of 2014. The list begins, in preferential order, after the break.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hyundai Sales Increase 9 Percent January to November 2014


Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) continued to post positive growth as sales hit a total of 21,405 units in January to November this year, 9% higher as compared with the same period last year. In November, total units sold were 1,730, up by 1% year-on-year.

Volvo Philippines Shares Gifts with Chosen Children


Volvo Philippines gives back as it shares its blessings to the Chosen Children Village Foundation, Inc. (CCVFI). In celebration of its 20th year in the country, Volvo continues its dedication to care for people when it teamed up with the Scandinavian Society of the Philippines (SSP) in a recent visit to the Chosen Children Village. Ferried by the dynamic line of Volvo cars, sponsors and donors trooped to Silang, Cavite and enjoyed a day with these special children, bringing with them love, care and financial aid to further the rehabilitation and continued development of children in this home.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hyundai Philippines Launches 2015 Sonata (w/ Brochure)


Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai in the Philippines, used its festive Christmas Party to unveil the all-new seventh generation Sonata executive sedan to the media, dealers, and VIP guests. The all-new Sonata builds on the global success of its most immediate predecessor and is poised to set new standards in luxury, quality, and refinement. The all-new Sonata is built with four innovations in mind: Run, Stop, Versatility, Protect (RSVP) and the entire car is built to encapsulate those four elements.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: 2014 Tata Manza Aura Quadrajet Diesel

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Whenever you step out of the Tata Manza, it’s inevitable to be the butt of Indian jokes. A couple of times, I was quizzed whether it was curry-powered or at least ask me how it drives with whatever passes for an Indian accent. Clearly, it’s all part of the birthing pains for Tata, being the pioneering Indian car brand in the country. You don’t have to look far to see that a car buyer’s bias is still there: some will say Korean cars are as delectable on the palette as kimchee or that all Chinese cars are built by people named Cheech or Chong. As a car guy, I can’t have that bias. I’ve got to respect cars based on individual merit and strength. So when the Tata Manza Aura arrived at my doorstep, I won’t care where it’s from. I only mind its design and engineering. And you know what? It’s actually a respectable little car.

McLaren-Honda Prepares for 2015; Announces All-Star Driver Line-Up


McLaren-Honda is delighted to announce its new driver line-up for 2015: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Kevin Magnussen will remain an important part of the team, as test and reserve driver.

BYD F0 is Official Car of "Challenge of Champions"


The BYD F0 served as the “spec car” during the recent Challenge of Champions (COC) race-off, organized by Flat Out Race Series Inc. (FORS) headed by Edward dela Rosa, which was held on December 6 at the Batangas Racing Circuit in Rosario, Batangas.

Honda Cars Makati Extends Reign as Customer Service Champions


Representatives from Honda Cars Makati, Inc. (HCMI) commanded a strong, solid finish as they, time and again, dominated the 13th National Customer Service Skills Competition (formerly National Technicians’ Contest or NTC) organized by Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ford Philippines Previews All-New 2015 Mustang with Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Model


In celebration of the iconic Mustang’s 50th anniversary as well as to whet the appetite of Filipino car enthusiasts, Ford Philippines showed off the 50 Years Limited Edition All-New Ford Mustang. Based on the all-new 2015 Mustang, the 50 Years Limited Edition model carries unique features and specially-designed elements on both the exterior and interior.

Volkswagen Philippines Now Offers Leasing Program


Volkswagen offers you the freedom to afford one of life’s luxuries by giving you more options to choose from. Introducing Volkswagen Auto Leasing – for people who want to experience easy ownership plan and a one-stop shop offering exceptional amenities and customer services.

Uber Manila Partners with LBC to Send Your Christmas Gifts

The magical holiday season is in full swing and it’s the time of the year when you want to maximize face time with your family and loved ones. As we scramble to choose the nicest gifts to give, the idea of delivering these presents through the grindingly slow Metro Manila traffic is the least exciting part of it.

Maserati Centennial Gathering Wins International Historic Motoring 'Tour of the Year' Award (IHMA)


Luxury Italian automotive manufacturer, Maserati, was honored with the prestigious Tour of the Year Award at the 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards (IHMA) at a ceremony in London last week. The iconic Italian marque won the prize for its Centennial Gathering, a three-day tour which took place in Italy from the 18th to 20th September.

Titan Motorwerks Brings XPEL and Durashield Paint Protection Films to the Philippines


There are two types of car owners in this world when it comes to caring for their vehicles. The proactive and the reactive owners.  Proactive owners are the people who even before they buy their respective cars have already decided where to get it fix before something breaks. Reactive owners, on the other hand, never maximize the potential of their vehicles because they postpone routine maintenance until it’s absolutely necessary.

Petron Powers AAP Caravan


Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4 was the official fuel of the Quezon Drive Tour Caravan held last November 29-30, 2014, and organized by AAP Travel, a fully-owned subsidiary of Automobile Association Philippines (AAP).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ford Philippines Bags 15 Awards; Ranger Wildtrak Hailed as Philippine 2014-2015 Truck of the Year


Ford Philippines ended November on a victorious note as it received a total of 13 awards from the Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI) and the Auto Focus People’s and Media’s Choice Awards.

Best Philippine Drifters Awarded at Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship Awards Ceremony


There were no crashes, but lots of burning—as the best drifters in the Philippines smoked out tires and engines in the recently concluded 2014 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship. In its ninth year, and second in partnership with Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), this season’s drift championship showcased 40 drivers, proving the immense growth of the sport in the country.

2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship Season Finale Set on December 14


After spending more than a month in hiatus, the Yokohama Philippine GT Championship is finally ready to host the sixth and final round of the 2014 season. Although the GT 300, GT 150, and GT 100 drivers' title have all been decided, there are still trophies and egos still at stake when the drivers line up on the grid for the final time this coming December 13 to 14 in Batangas Racing Circuit.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

AVID Car Sales Up 20 Percent in October


The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), displayed a positive sales performance in October of 3,101 units, up by 20% year-on-year. Sales for the ten-month tally reached 30,114 units, growing by 19%. Both growth in Passenger Car (PC) and Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segments contributed to the overall sales of AVID. However, sales for Mini was not reflected in the total reported October sales for AVID.

Visa and Caltex Launch "Win Big with a Mini" Raffle Promo


Visa and Chevron Philippines have a big surprise in store for their clients as they collaborate to introduce the “Win Big with a Mini” Caltex-Visa Promo. Starting December 1, 2014, Visa Credit, Debit, and Prepaid cardholders who gas up at participating Caltex stations can get a chance to win an all-new Mini Cooper A/T 1.5L for every PHP 1,000 worth of Caltex Diesel with Techron, Caltex Silver with Techron, or Caltex Gold with Techron.

Petron Engine Oils: Specially Formulated for Philippine Market


As the only and biggest Filipino refiner, Petron has a deep understanding of the unique driving conditions on Philippine roads, and Petron takes pride in formulating products that will deliver optimum efficiency for Filipino motorists.

BEMAC Philippines Carmona Plant Now Ready for Production


BEMAC Electric Transportation Philippines, Incorporated formerly known as BEET Philippines announced that their assembly line for electric vehicles (EVs) is now on place and is ready for mass production.

First Drive: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i-S and Outback 2.5i-S


No turbo? That’s inevitably the first question asked by everyone during the launch of the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy and Outback in Bangkok. It’s also the one question that Mr. Masayuki Uchida, Senior Project General Manager for both products could easily answer. His response: a turbocharged engine is not in line with the Legacy or Outback’s character. He’s aiming for an executive sedan with a smooth, comfortable, confident, and above all, linear driving experience; a turbocharged engine simply cannot deliver the refinement he wants. Mr. Uchida should know what he’s talking about: the vastly experienced 55-year old has worked on the Legacy since the first-generation model in 1981. This effectively means he’s worked on Subaru’s flagship offering for about half his life.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: Mazda2 Sedan Makes Global Debut

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Mazda Press
Fresh from winning the Japan Car of the Year 2014-2015 award, the Mazda2 gains a new sedan form which debuts at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. The all-new sedan variant joins the hatchback in offering the most up-to-date Skyactiv technology in the Mazda line-up. In Thailand, the Mazda2 also brandishes a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D clean diesel (Euro 5) engine good for a healthy 105 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm. It makes the all-new Mazda2 sedan the first vehicle to quality for Phase II of Thailand’s Eco Car program. It easily exceeds the requirements of doing 23.2 km/L and CO2 emissions not above 100g/km.

UPDATED: Thailand Motor Expo 2014: Honda Launches 2015 HR-V, Brio-Based Wagon (w/ Video)

Photos by Ulysses Ang
UPDATE 2: This is how the Honda HR-V squares up against the competition. (6/9)

UPDATE 1: Honda Cars Philippines just launched the HR-V for the Philippines. (6/7)

Readying its assault in the growing sub-compact crossover segment, Honda finally pulled the wraps off the Jazz-based HR-V at the 31st Bangkok Motor Expo 2014. Dubbed the “Premium Sport Crossover”, the HR-V gets a unique powertrain configuration for the Thai market which will most likely be carried over to the rest of the ASEAN region.

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: 2015 Ford Mustang is Now a Global Muscle Car

Photos by Ulysses Ang
In time with the Ford Mustang’s 50th anniversary, Ford shows off the all-new 2015 version of the iconic muscle car for the first time in the ASEAN region at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. Showcased in a left-hand drive configuration at the show, the all-new Mustang is expected to make its arrival in the Philippines early 2015.

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: Nissan Gunning for the Top with NP300 Navara

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Not to be outdone and outgunned in the pick-up race, Nissan Philippines invited a couple of journalists to preview the all-new 2015 NP300 Navara at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. Although the X-Trail is the main highlight of Nissan Thailand’s pavilion (it’s the venue for the Thai market’s launch), Filipino eyes looked straight towards the striking NP300 Navara which shared the stage with Nissan’s premium compact crossover.

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: Hyundai HND-9 Concept is the Future Genesis Coupe

Photo by Ulysses Ang
First showcased at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show, Hyundai is showing off its future design direction with the HND-9 Concept, a luxury sports coupe that’s being shown in ASEAN for the very first time at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. A further evolution of the company’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design philosophy, the HND-9 is Hyundai’s modern interpretation of the classic premium sports coupe. It was developed at the company’s R&D Center in Namyang, Korea.

UPDATED: Thailand Motor Expo 2014: 2015 Mitsubishi Triton/Strada Gets Face Time

Photos by Ulysses Ang
UPDATE 1: The all-new 2015 Mitsubishi Strada is officially launched (3/20).

One of Mitsubishi’s best-selling and most important products, the Triton (Philippine market Strada) receives the lion share of attention at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. Not only does it occupy the majority of Mitsubishi’s huge pavilion, but several examples of the pick-up are displayed around the Impact Challenger convention center. The first major re-design in nine years, the all-new 2015 Strada is Mitsubishi’s revamped entrant in the ever competitive pick-up segment.

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: 2015 Subaru Outback is Now a More Premium Flagship

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Subaru’s flagship crossover, the all-new 2015 Outback, takes center stage at the brand’s pavilion at the 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014. It serves as the venue for the regional launch of the said crossover along with the all-new Legacy (which isn’t shown at the show itself). As always, the Outback combines passenger car comfort with the long-distance touring capabilities and load space of a sport utility vehicle. In developing the latest Outback, Subaru delivers class-leading performance, confident all-wheel drive handling, and all-around safety.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thailand Motor Expo 2014: 31st Thailand Motor Expo 2014 Kicks Off


Re-invigorating the stagnant Thai automotive industry, Inter-Media Consultant Co., Ltd. has formally opened the doors to the 31st Thailand Motor Expo at the Impact Challenger Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. The show brings the biggest brands and names together showcasing the capability and readiness of Thailand to maintain its status as ASEAN’s main automotive hub.

Ford Re-Opens Tacloban Dealership


Ford Philippines celebrated the re-opening of Ford Tacloban in Leyte a one year after super typhoon Yolanda struck the Eastern Visayas and destroyed the facility.

Video: Ferrari California T Driven Around Monaco

Ferrari’s Head of Development test-driver, Raffaele De Simone, gives a thrilling taste of the Ferrari California T’s driving prowess on the challenging streets and roads of the Principality of Monaco. He takes his viewers through the new car’s performance as it tackles the Col de Turini mountain pass, one of the toughest stages on the famous Monte Carlo Rally, the legendary Tunnel and, of course, the Monaco Grand Prix’s famous Loews hairpin.

Video is after the break. Happy Sunday!

Volkswagen Holds 2nd Leg of Fuel Eco Run


Following the successful first leg last October 21st, Volkswagen Philippines continues its Eco Fun Run together with its partner, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum.

Volvo Marks 20th Year in the Philippines


Marking its 20th year in the country, Volvo Philippines continues to offer its distinct mark of premium ownership experience to its valued patrons and brand enthusiasts. Established in November 1994 with a clear vision to be an esteemed car brand, it has since then reaped a multitude of rewards and accolades, including the coveted Volvo Diamond Award. Given only in its first full year of operation, this recognition is given to outstanding performance in the areas of vehicle sales, parts and service operations, competitive positioning and customer satisfaction.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Honda Cars Philippines Updates CR-V for 2015


Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), Honda’s automobile business unit in the Philippines surprises the market once more as they uncover their New CR-V at Enderun Tent, McKinley Hill. The event marks HCPI’s 7th newest offering for the Philippine Market, following the Accord, City, Jazz, Brio, Brio Amaze and the Civic.

First Drive: 2014 Isuzu mu-X LS-A 4WD

Photos by Ulysses Ang
For Isuzu, a lot is hinging on the success of the all-new mu-X. The mid-sized 7-seater SUV market is the country’s fastest growing segment and yet, their previous effort, the Alterra, barely made a dent in the market. After lessons were learned, they got back to the drawing board and pretty much re-designed, re-engineered, and even re-named their effort. Fast-forward years later and you have five Isuzu mu-Xs parked in a row in the scenic province of Palawan. The mu-X’s first drive just happens to be a road trip in paradise.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lexus Manila Launches RC and RCF


Aggressiveness and dynamism blend together into one bold, sensual package as Lexus Manila unveils not one, but two additions to its growing line-up: the RC and RCF. Engineered as a standalone model as opposed to being simply a two-door derivative of an existing sedan model, the RC and RCF have been honed on the world’s most famous race tracks. And now, they are ready to attack the streets of Manila.

Tata Motors Quezon Avenue Officially Open to the Public


Pilipinas Taj Autogroup Inc. (PTAJ), the exclusive distributor of Tata Motors Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles in the Philippines, continues to expand through its newest dealership to date, Tata Quezon Avenue, on November 21, 2014.

Michelin Takes 'Fill Up with Air' Safety Campaign to the Philippines


Michelin underscored its Road Safety advocacy with the launch of its Fill Up with Air (FUWA) Safety Campaign on Friday November 21, 2014 at S&R Alabang Open Parking Lot along Alabang-Zapote Road in Alabang, Muntinlupa. An inspection tent setup onsite invited all S&R members to have their vehicles’ tire pressure checked and adjusted for free. The Michelin tire experts also provided more tire safety advices to the participants and an assessment of the tires’ condition.

X-Men Inspired Kia Sorento to Debut at Australian Open 2015


Kia Motors today announced details of a new collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD and Kia’s sponsorship of the Australian Open 2015.

UAAP Basketball MVP Kiefer Ravena Stays with Suzuki


To continue bringing great value and fuel efficient cars to the young and active market, Suzuki Philippines (SPH) recently renewed partnership with UAAP Men’s Basketball MVP Kiefer Ravena as its endorser for the second straight year.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Subaru XV STI Performance is Finally Here


After being previewed in Malaysia last July, Motor Image Pilipinas, the authorized distributor of Subaru in the Philippines, has announced the arrival of the new Subaru XV STI Performance. It’s the newest addition to the Subaru XV line-up.

Philippine Car Price Guide: October-November 2014

The much awaited, much delayed Philippine Car Price Guide is finally here. It’s been a good two months since the last update, but you know what they say, patience is a virtue. So sit back, relax, and glance through the most up-to-date Car Price Guide researched by yours truly. Seems you don’t need a back office to do these things!

Here are the new things in this update:
  • BMW M135i
  • BMW M235i
  • BMW M3
  • BMW M4
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Explorer Sport
  • Ford Ranger Wildtrak (price adjustment)
  • Honda Brio (price adjustment)
  • Honda City (new variants)
  • Honda Civic (new variants)
  • Honda CR-V (new variants)
  • Honda Jazz (price adjustment)
  • Hyundai Grand Starex (new variants)
  • Lexus RC F
  • Mitsubishi Mirage (price adjustment)
  • Tata Ace
  • Tata Indica
  • Tata Indigo
  • Tata Xenon (price adjustment)
  • Toyota RAV4 (price adjustment)
  • Toyota Wigo (price adjustment)
  • Volvo S60 (new variant)

First Ayala Auto Fair Happening on November 26-28 at Ayala Triangle Gardens


This November, three powerful automotive brands come together to bring you the first Ayala Auto Fair organized by Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation. Taking centerstage at the Ayala Triangle Gardens from November 26-28, Ayala-owned dealers of Honda, Isuzu, and Volkswagen, will showcase some of the best vehicles in the country today.

Hyundai Sales Up 18 Percent in October


Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, saw its sales accelerate to 1,982 units for the month of October, reflecting solid growth of 18% year-on-year. To-date, sales reached a total of 19,675 units for the first 10 months of the year, up by 10% from the same period last year.

Bikefest 2014 Happening on November 29 at SM MOA Grounds


Harley-Davidson of Manila and Harley Owners Group (HOG) join forces to stage one of the biggest gatherings of premium motorbike enthusiasts in the Philippines: BIKEFEST 2014. A whole day of fun activities will be held at the SM MOA grounds, planetarium parking lot, Pasay City, on the 29th of November 2014, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM the next day.

BMW Named As Official Premium Mobility Partner for APEC 2015


Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, recently forged ties with the Philippine Government to roll out over 200 BMW luxury vehicles to serve as VIP mobility shuttle for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) event to be hosted by the Philippines in 2015. Secretary Albert Del Rosario of the Department of Foreign Affairs, together with Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, Chairman of ACC, led representatives from the national governement and key officers of ACC to formalize the partnership in a signing ceremony held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ford Philippines Hosts Opening of Largest Dealership in the Country


Ford Philippines celebrates the continued expansion of its nationwide dealer network with a gala event to mark the opening of Ford Alabang, the biggest Ford dealership in the country.

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