motoring

Petron-sponsored IAME Series Asia heads to the Philippines

March 20, 2019

IAME Series Asia (formerly known as X30 SEA) is once again breaking new ground with Round 1 of their 2019 race season to be held at the newly built Clark International Speedway Kart Track on March 23-24. Located within the Clark Freeport zone, this 13-turn, high speed circuit boasts world class amenities and is a stone’s throw away from Clark International airport and several 5-star accommodations. With karting interest on the quick rise in the Philippines, the arrival of a world-class kart race series to the island Republic will further fuel the sport within the community.      Petron Blaze 100 Euro 6, acknowledged as the best gasoline in the Philippines, is the official fuel sponsor the 2019 IAME Series Asia, which will consist of six rounds, as follows: (1) March 23-24 Philippines; (2) May 11-12 Thailand; (3) May 25-26 Thailand; (4) July 6-7 Malaysia; (5) August 3-4 Malaysia; (6) September 14-15 Malaysia.      According to Mr. KC Chong of the ISA organizing team, “We are expecting to see karters from all over Asia, from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and of course, the Philippines! This is going to be a very exciting race to kick start the season, with drivers from so many nationalities battling it out on the beautiful circuit of Clark International Speedway. Competitors in the respective categories in the Championship will once again stand a chance to win invitations to the IAME International Finals in Le Mans, France. These invitations will be supplemented with Euro 2,000 cash and race tire packages each, making them truly attractive prizes!”       2019 sees the implementation of new technical regulations to the series, like the newly developed exhaust system that will give the already potent X30 engines a further performance boost. This is another example of IAME’s constant endeavor to improve the level of racing in their one-engine-make race series.

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Suzuki Philippines Launches the Jimny All-Grip Pro

March 8, 2019

Suzuki Philippines unveils another surprising innovation for the Filipinos—the All-New Jimny All-Grip Pro. The fourth generation of Suzuki’s trademark 4x4 boasts a simple, rugged design that exudes tough strength that guarantees real off-road adventure across any terrain, trail and even thick forests.      “Our determination to provide simple, straightforward, and functional vehicles such as the Suzuki Jimny All-Grip Pro underscores our commitment to continuously provide innovation that Filipinos can rely on. Every detail of the fourth-generation Jimny—from the body to the engine—is designed to deliver the maximum performance and durability required by serious off-road travelers. With this newest addition to our lineup of vehicles, more Filipinos can now enjoy the Suzuki Way of Life as they explore more challenges and adventures,” said SPH Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki.      Designed to deliver authentic 4x4 experience, the all-new Jimny features All Grip Pro for high off-road capability that allows instant response and maneuver through difficult terrain.       The fourth iteration of this popular Suzuki SUV uses a ladder frame that is more resistant than a monocoque body to torsion and is therefore better suited for off-road, rough terrain. Compared with many SUVs today with independent suspensions, the Jimny uses a long-stroke 3-link suspension and rigid full wheel axles on both front and rear for strong traction on uneven terrain.      The Jimny can climb over obstacles and steep hills without scrapping its bumpers or underbody. The vehicle’s 37-degree specialized approach angle, 28-degree ramp breakover angle and 49-degree departure angle allow it to maneuver over ridges and verticals.      With its part-time 4WD with low-range transfer gear, the Jimny can switch between 4WD and 2WD to achieve optimal off-road performance and better fuel economy and enhanced cornering on paved roads, respectively. The SUV also has extra torque in the 4L mode for rough terrain.      Whether the day calls for multiple projects off site or unplanned long trips outside the metro, the all-new Suzuki Jimny can handle the challenge by combining hill hold control, hill descent control and brake limited slip-differential (LSD) traction control. These systems allow both wheels to maintain speed and better control in rough road conditions      The fourth-generation SUV sports a square body for better situational awareness.  Its compact dimensions allow the Jimny to maneuver through narrow mountain trails and thick forests, a clear advantage over larger off-road vehicles. It’s light weight lets you conquer mud, sand and up steep slippery slopes where heavier vehicles tend to get stuck.       The Jimny’s look and body express off-road functionality in every detail, from the tough square form to the 15-inch alloy wheels painted in dark-metallic gray. The angled bumper is optimized for off-road terrain while the square wheel arches allow for easier tire changes. Molded black bumpers, wheel arch extensions and side sills help block pebbles from scratching the body panels. The iconic round headlamps inherited from past models are completely separated to allow independent replacement.      The interior mirrors the simple and straightforward exterior. Black is used to minimize distraction, with functional parts such as center switches and dials in metallic colors for easy use. The instrument panel and surrounding parts have scratch- and stain-resistant grained finish while the circular steering wheel has a leather cover to withstand rough handling.      The multimedia audio unit features a bigger 9-inch capacitive touchscreen with large icons and soft buttons for easy control. It features off-line GPS navigation system and off-road audio guide.      The all-new Jimny accommodates 53 liters more luggage than the previous model. Small items can be stored in a removable luggage box for easier organization.      The all-new Jimny uses a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder K15B engine that delivers stronger torque at all rpm than the previous Jimny. It features a specially designed flywheel for engine flexibility and improved NVH and a lightweight resin belt cover and fuel tank. The optimized intake system and long nozzle injector enhance fuel efficiency.      The Jimny All-Grip Pro also features Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), which scatters collision energy across the vehicle frame to mitigate damage to the car and passengers.      To reduce driver stress and fatigue, one of the top design considerations for the new Jimny, the SUV’s ladder frame rigidity was increased and the body mounts redesigned for lower vibration. The front seat cushion frames are 70mm wider and 50mm taller for better shock absorption. Unpleasant noise inside the cabin was reduced through the strategic placement of sound-absorbing material throughout the body.       For greater dependability, the Jimny All-Grip Pro use zinc-coated steel more extensively and has a more effective floor undercoating and seater coatings at panel edges to protect it against rust caused by salt from river crossings. The Suzuki Jimny All-Grip Pro GL MT is priced at P975,000 while the GL AT is available at P1,035,000. A GLX AT variant is available in monotone and two tone colors priced at P1,085,000 and P1,095,000 respectively. Tha all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro is now available for reservation through all authorized Suzuki dealers. Those who want to experience real 4x4 adventure can choose from Solid Kinetic Yellow, Metallic Brisk Blue, Metallic Chiffon Ivory, Pearl Bluish Black, Solid Medium Gray, Metallic Silky Silver, Superior White and Solid Jungle Green.

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IPC Announces Winners of the 2018 Dealer of the Year Awards

February 27, 2019

Isuzu Philippines Corporation held its 14th Dealer of the Year Awards (DOYA) on February 22 at the Grand Ballroom of Hilton Manila in posh Newport City in Pasay City. Through the DOYA, which IPC has been holding annually since 2004, the outstanding performance of Isuzu dealers and its sales force, both in sales and aftersales operations, are recognized.      The 2018 edition of the DOYA has been especially meaningful for the leadership and the tireless men and women of IPC. Despite the challenges faced by industries in 2018 resulting in the dip in sales for the automotive industry, IPC still emerged as the country’s leading truck brand, extending its winning streak to 19 years, prompting IPC Executive Vice President Shojiro Sakoda to declare, “We are all here, standing, and celebrating our success.”      In the presence of dealer principals and operators, branch, sales, and service and parts managers, supervisors and sales executives, IPC President Hajime Koso said in his welcome speech, “Now that Isuzu has already 43 dealerships operating nationwide, we know that all of you are doing your best to achieve our goals each year, and we appreciate each one of you. We are working as one team, we are one Isuzu.”      The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the main awards.      Hailed as the 2018 Dealer of the Year Champion was Isuzu Iloilo, with Isuzu Cabanatuan and Isuzu Cagayan de Oro 1st and 2nd runner up, respectively.      The Most Improved Dealership of the Year award was handed to Isuzu Bulacan.      The Sales Team of the Year was the Isuzu Pasig.      The Sales Executive of the Year in the LCV Category was Mr. Gabriel Joshua Corro Jr. of Isuzu Iloilo, while the Sales Executive of the Year in the CV Category was Ms. Caren Pearl Gaspar of Isuzu Pasig.      2018 DOYA Awards were also given to Isuzu Pasig for being Best in Sales Operations, Isuzu Bulacan for being Best in Parts Operation, Isuzu Alabang as Best in Service Operations, and Isuzu Sto. Tomas Batangas as Best in Customer Service Operations.      IPC President Hajime Koso congratulated the winners and reminded them of their special roles in IPC: “We couldn’t have done it without you. This is the night of becoming an inspiration—an inspiration to do something different, something bigger, and something remarkable.”

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All Kinds of Wow with more to come - Kia Soluto’s Mindanao Launch in Cagayan de Oro

February 26, 2019

The Power to Surprise: Kia’s tagline has never failed to deliver beyond expectations. For instance, for the Mindanao Launch of its new Kia Soluto, Kia Philippines chose Cagayan de Oro. “We chose Cagayan de Oro because it is the gateway to Mindanao,” said Manny A. Aligada, Kia PH President in an exclusive interview at the sidelines of the Mindanao launch. Since Ayala Automotive took over the reins for Kia in the Philippines from Columbia Motors Corporation last December 5 under the business style Kia Philippines, it has quietly implemented upgrades to the existing lineup without much fanfare. “We’re rationalizing the lineup. We reviewed the segments, and when we saw the Soluto is gonna be available, then we said that is the main driver of the lineup that we will be carrying here in the Philippines this time. So it’s a totally new model for the small sedan segment,” Aligada said. In another surprise departure from the usual industry launch, Kia PH chose not to roll out the top of the line variant of the Soluto for its Mindanao launch, choosing instead to exhibit all four available trims: the base 1.4 LX manual, 1.4 LX automatic, 1.4 EX manual, and 1.4 EX automatic. “This is a good first car or second car if you already have regular cars for the family. So we priced it at a level that would be so accessible. We are excited and we think this is gonna be about half of Kia’s sales this year,” Aligada added confidently. Introduced just last January 30, the Soluto is a vivid demonstration of how AC Automotive’s subtle yet aggressive strategy to refresh the excitement of Kia PH lineup. For its entry level 1.4 LX manual model priced at P625, 000. none of its competitors at this price range can match its standard features such as steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, USB Port, auxiliary port a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, four speakers and two tweeters plus a reverse camera. All kinds of wow indeed! Aligada said this is indicative of the enhancement Kia Philippines will be making in all its base models that it is now offering. Besides the Soluto, the lineup now includes the Picanto, Rio hatchback, new Sportage, new Sorento and new Grand Carnival.  “While it is Korean technology, it is very European in style,” Aligada said of the new Soluto. The CBU units from Kia’s factories in China also take advantage of the Philippines’ existing free trade agreements which enables Kia PH to bring it in at a better value. Another wow the new Kia PH has implemented is the accessibility of buyers to bank financing. “Before the banks refused to finance or even required unusually high down payments for the Kia Brand,” Aligada disclosed. “Before the down payment was moving up to 30-40 percent and there was even a model they refused to finance. But now it’s back to 20 percent.” And that’s not the end of surprises coming from Kia PH this year. “We have committed to Kia to bring in three new models that have never been introduced in the Philippines. All I can tell you the next ones will not be like the Soluto or in the same range. It will be an entirely new model not yet introduced in the Philippines and it is also very popular outside the Philippines. And its name starts with the letter S,” Aligada teased. “In a matter of two weeks, we will be introducing the second surprise. And after that, within the third quarter, we will unveil the third new model.” Tsoy Daniel B. Hipolito, Kia Cagayan de Oro Marketing Manager revealed that the Kia Soluto  is already available in Kia Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Ozamiz  and Zamboanga dealerships where interested buyers can test drive their preferred units. As a climax to an already exciting evening, Aligada and Greencars Mindanao President Tony dela Fuente turned over the ceremonial key to four new Soluto owners who took advantage of the P78, 000 down payment launch offer and bought their units on the spot. For a closer look at this new Kia Soluto, look here here. Would wonders never cease! Indeed Kia’s Power to Surprise remains strong as ever! (Mike Baños)

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Suzuki opens dealership in Ozamiz

December 11, 2017

Suzuki Philippines (SPH) marks yet another milestone with the successful opening of a new dealership in Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental. The expansion down south is part of the company’s objective to increase its presence nationwide. “We, at Suzuki Philippines, are always looking for opportunities to better serve the Philippine market while also strengthening our stronghold in the country. By opening more dealerships, in particular outside Metro Manila, we are able to bring Suzuki vehicles to more Filipinos and provide best-value products. This also helps our trusted automobile dealers develop and expand their own businesses, which results in a perfect partnership yielding mutual growth,” shared Mr. Shuzo Hoshikura, General Manager of SPH Automotive Division. The city of Ozamiz is the center of commerce, health, transportation and education in northern Mindanao and is poised to experience continuous economic growth in the years ahead. SPH recognizes the city as an ideal place for developing businesses and communities, and wants to develop this potential for expansion. The new dealership owned by Des Strong Motors, Inc., one of the leading automobile dealers in the country, is under the direct management of CEO Dr. Silvestre Lumapas, Jr. It marks the 66th dealership outlet of Suzuki across the country and the 11th to open this year. Categorized as a 3S dealership, the new outlet will operate as a one-stop-shop offering sales, spare parts and services for drivers around the area. “The Ozamiz dealership outlet is our second 3S dealership with Suzuki, with the first one situated in Bohol. We opted to pursue and further our partnership with Suzuki because they are hands-on in guiding and helping us with our concerns. We are looking forward to a stronger partnership with Suzuki. Indeed, we expect to increase our reach in both Visayas and Mindanao with Suzuki,” said Dr. Lumapas. Catering to the different Filipino markets, the new outlet offers the wide range of Suzuki vehicles, namely the Ciaz, Celerio, Jimny, Ertiga, Alto and Swift. For business-oriented stakeholders, the cargo vehicle Super Carry UV perfect for commercial use is included in the set. The all-new Vitara launched earlier this month has also been added to the product lineup. The urban subcompact SUV is engineered with enhanced performance and equipment level to fit the modern lifestyle of young professionals in the city. “We are very excited to be given the opportunity to be part of this growth and witness the continuous development in southern Philippines. Let me extend our heartfelt thanks to Des Strong Motors for another successful opening. We look forward to working more closely with you. We hope our continued partnership will let us reach out to more cities across the country and let this be an inspiration to reach grander heights as we prepare for a new year ahead,” shares SPH President Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki. For more information on the Suzuki Super Carry, please visit http://suzuki.com.ph/auto/ and like it on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH, https://twitter.com/SuzukiAutoPH and follow on Instagram at @suzukiautoph.

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Back-to-back win for Suzuki at the first-ever MOTY-P

December 11, 2017

After 13 years of recognizing the best car and truck models on the Philippine automotive stage, Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) finally shares the spotlight to its two-wheel counterparts with the awarding of the first-ever Motorcycle of the Year Philippines (MOTY-P) this 2017. Named as the very first of the said prestigious accolade at C3 Place in Greenhills, San Juan City last November 27, 2017 were the following: The Suzuki Raider R150 FI: CAGI and Carmudi.com.ph Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines Commuter Class (299 cc & below) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R: CAGI and Carmudi.com.ph Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines Leisure Class (300 cc & above) The Suzuki Raider R150 FI was the winner in the Commuter Class (299 cc & below) as it was downright slick and stylish not to mention being equipped with a fuel-injection system that can rival other larger bikes. On the other hand, the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R indeed lived up to its title as “King of Superbikes”, as it did not only turn heads because of its suave sporty design or cringed every nerve in the body for its orgasmic and superior mechanical prowess but absolutely put competition to a halt as it was deemed the safest among all motorcycles tested. “Finally, after months of challenges just to stage the very first Motorcycle of the Year-Philippines, we’ve eventually come up with the results,” CAGI Ronald de los Reyes said in his speech.

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