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February 1, 2022

AC Motors To Focus On Digitalization, EVs To Fuel Growth

AC Motors, one of the Philippines’ largest automotive groups with its five 4-wheel brands—distributor brands Volkswagen, Kia, and Maxus, and Ayala-owned dealers Honda and Isuzu—has outpaced the auto industry’s growth in 2021.

AC Motors President for Automobile Group Antonio “Toti” Zara III revealed that the group experienced a sales growth of 30 percent, outpacing the overall industry’s 18 percent growth. Moreover, despite the continued challenges in 2021, the group expanded its outlets from 85 in 2020 to 95 in 2021.

Zara says the growth is attributed not just due to its new product offerings across its brands. The group also went the extra mile in digital, pouring in more resources and expertise towards digitizing the customers’ sales and aftersales journeys. This has resulted in as high as 40 percent of monthly sales now coming from one of its many digital channels.

Building upon these strengths, Zara remained upbeat that 2022 would see AC Motors continue to grow, and explore even more avenues of opportunity as parent company Ayala commits to a more sustainable future.

Among AC Motors’ more immediate steps for 2022 would be to steadily grow its sales volume, starting off the year with the launch of the all-new Kia Carnival as well as strengthening presence in the truck market which is recovering faster from the pandemic. Further expansion of network and digitization will likewise continue.

AC Motors is also poised to become a key player in sustainable mobility, as the Ayala group has committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

To help achieve this goal, AC Motors will actively explore bringing in electric vehicles to the domestic market. “The EV law and its corresponding roadmap is about to be finalized. Government must consider lowering import duties aside from excise tax privileges. Let us protect strategic sectors such as the PUV but allow easier importation of private vehicles. We need to make EV ownership more accessible,” Mr. Zara urged.

One prime candidate that could fit into AC Motors’ plan is the Kia K-Series EV which fits in with AC Motors’ thrust to focus on more on the truck business. It can also be fitted with a wide array of bodies, including a possible entry into the Modern PUV segment. Although Kia Philippines squashed the possibility of bringing in the K-Series EV locally, they could simply install a new body and use the K-Series drivetrain and chassis.

Already sold in Kia’s home market of Korea, the light-duty truck features a 184 horsepower (135 kW), 395 Nm of torque electric motor. Energy is stored in a 58.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, it can go up to 211 kilometers on a single charge. Moreover, using a 100-kW fast charger, such as what Ayala has been installing at their malls, a full charge takes just 54 minutes (9 hours and 30 minutes using a 7.2-kW slow charger).


  1. Some 2022 wishes for Volkswagen Phils.:
    1. More dealerships (just like Kia Phils.)
    2. If possible, to offer global models, vehicles made in Germany (for purists), and models from China (for those looking for more affordable VWs)
    3. Assurance of good after sales services and availability of spare parts.
    - Mark J.

    1. Yes they can partner with FAW to source more sedans and hatchbacks.

    2. Number 2 is possible, but can these people stomach the prices on those Germany-made cars? (it's bordering on Luxury prices currently—case in point, Kombi sourced from Germany. Too expensive for lower features due to heavy taxes for Germany-made cars.)


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