Every year, car nuts and gear heads flock the massive halls of the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay to celebrate the best things the automotive industry has to offer.
This year, the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) is bigger than ever: with every nook and cranny of the center (including the hall of the Philippine Trade Training Center) filled with more than 500 cars and 145 exhibitors, car enthusiasts are definitely in for a treat.
If you haven’t been to MIAS, there’s still time to catch up since show runs until April 2. For those having serious FOMO, we’ve compiled the top nine highlights from opening day.
1. Ford’s massive exhibition
Ford is all about the size: aside from its huge exhibition, Lance Mosley, managing director, revealed to the public that Ford Philippines experienced a 33-percent boost in sales and larger network of 43 dealerships nationwide.
Aside from showcasing their bestsellers—the Explorer, EcoSport, and the segment-defining Ranger—Ford has also set up a boot camp called Ford Island Conquest outside the WTC that allows people to drive their cars in the toughest situations—and emerged unscathed.
2. The all-new Impreza using Subaru’s new platform
Subaru continues to deliver an excellent lineup. This time, the premiere Japanese car company announced that the new Impreza is built using its all-new Subaru Global Platform, a cutting-edge redesign of the body that redefines safety, control, and performance. Impressive!
3. Hyundai at the center of the main hall
Hyundai stole the show with spectacle—and boy, did they do it spectacularly. With eyes literally on the center of the WTC, the carmaker revealed three new cars in its growing arsenal: the spacious H350, the world-renowned Creta, and the elegant Genesis G90.
As if that wasn’t enough, Hyundai had indie band Up Dharma Down perform an original song for the Korean car manufacturer called “Gusto.”
Also, did we mention that Hyundai Philippines CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo introduced the cars in Filipino? Astig!
4. A slick performance by Russ Swift
At the hands of a skilled expert, any car can become a powerful beast. But if it’s three-time Guinness record-holder Russ Swift, even the more broken-down car would go over the red line.
Performing heart-stopping stunts such as parallel parking in tight spaces, J-turn parking, and two-wheel stunt-driving, Swift made the summer extra hotter. Just don’t breathe the carbon when he makes those donut rings. They’re bad for your lungs, okay?
5. Mazda flexing its muscles with new cars
Mazda’s silent but deadly launch became the talk of the town as the Japanese car maker unveiled three of its most exciting cars to the public: the all-new CX-5 compact SUV, the premium seven-seater CX-9, and the much-anticipated MX-5 RF.
The new MX-5, which is now open for reservations, sports all good things the famous roadster has to offer with a twist: a retractable hardtop roof.
6. The “Hype-R”
The new fleet Honda unveiled on opening day was nothing short of amazing—the Civic RS Turbo Modulo, BR-V Navi Modulo, HR-V Mugen, and the City MIAS Edition. But the real star of Honda’s show was, of course, none other than the Civic Type R.
As of this writing, nothing is cast in stone yet with regards to its release date and SRP—that is, if Honda Cars Philippines decides it’s worth shipping here at all. Keep your fingers crossed.
7. On-the-spot car insurance comparison
Meanwhile at the eCompareMo booth, things were action-packed as well. With the help of our gorgeous eCM angels, we challenged car owners to get the lowest insurance quote for their vehicles, and people were surprised that they could save up to 30%. Don’t believe us? Swing by our area at the east wing, booth MP-12, and we’d be glad to assist you. We’ll throw in a freebie or two as well!
8. For the kiddo in every one of us
Everyone loves a miniature car model. After all, it was diecast toys like Matchbox, Tomica, and Maisto that shaped our love for cars as kids.
To those who want to relish their childhood affair with toy cars, the hallway that connects hall D to the east wing has a small showcase of miniature cars of different scales. It’s nothing short of a sweet walk down memory lane.
9. The Spark, reignited
All eyes are on the subcompact segment. With fuel efficiency and ease of driving in the city as their primary draw, it’s the top choice among young urban professionals.
For this year, it seems like Chevrolet is adamant to dominate the segment with the rebirth of the Spark. With a more aggressive and bolder design and a fuel-efficient 1.4L Ecotec inline-four engine, it seems like this little bad boy is poised to reignite the public’s interest in the model.