It has begun: the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) 2022.
After two years, the nation’s largest auto show has resumed celebrating the auto industry’s return to some semblance of normalcy.
Last week’s main event for the automotive sector saw some 90,000 people visit the World Trade Center in Pasay City to see the latest in cars and automotive accessories.
While my estimated numbers may be a bit conservative, views from the field will show a crowded event hall with a steady stream of people throughout the four days of the show.
Since some brands had expatriate officers involved in the launch, it was particularly interesting to see foreign motoring journalists walking around.
Peugeot and Subaru had their global bosses in town, bringing some of their local journalists with them. Of course, Chinese brands like Geely, Foton, GAC and Chery also had their share of expats.
About 15 automotive brands have set up displays at the World Trade Center, joined by banks and other financial groups, aftermarket companies, tires and Petron, the main partner oil company of MIAS 2022.
Absent were Toyota, the country’s largest automaker, and Ford, which took up almost a fifth of the floor space at previous shows.
Apparently, some of the top auto brands that are members of the Philippine Chamber of Automakers Inc. are gearing up for their own auto show later this year.
The Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) is MIAS’ main competitor. So far, there has been very healthy competition between PIMS and MIAS, giving consumers a better appreciation of the automotive products available in the market.
Combine them with driving Al Camba’s ‘Inside Racing’ motorcycle show and Sophie de los Santos’ upcoming ‘Trans Sport Show’, it looks like the inner workings of the automotive and motorcycle industry are gearing up to the action.
Dax Avenido of Nissan Philippines also said they have seen an excellent increase in car sales over the past six months. Not quite on par with pre-pandemic numbers but the numbers are very optimistic, he added.
SGAP/Geely’s Froilan Dytianquin said the same as their Coolrey sold record numbers even during the lockdown period.
What’s evident during the pandemic, said Lyn Buena of Chevy and MG, is that people who believed the advent of Grab and Uber took away the reason to buy a car suddenly found themselves in need of a car. buy one for health and safety reasons.
Judging by last weekend’s turnout at the recent edition of MIAS, it seems that the automotive industry, as we have always said in this corner, is on the right track to help, if not save, our local economy.