DO you know that a single car has more than 30,000 parts? And to complete its production, a vehicle needs at least eight components: metal, chemical, plastic, textile, rubber, glass, steel and electrical.
In a nutshell then, the car industry is so massive a source of manufacturing potential that it has become a major force in nation-building all these years. It is but surprising, therefore, that the government has continued to ignore this very much vital segment of society, whose wealth-driven, revenue-laden resources and employment-generating capacity have always been there, ready to be tapped at the virtual flick of a finger.
Just look: The government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program has long been overdue. After years and years of being kept in the backburner, the CARS’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) have been finally released last December 19. Better late than never—that seems to be the motto at the Department of Trade and Industry, a seeming reflection of the Palace’s penchant to act slow-motion on most matters of national import.
Anyways, in our continuing mission to show to you how much our industry captains have been doing to help improve the lot of our people, if not our own government functionaries, through their perseverance in advancing the cause of motorization, here are three more of our mind-benders that matter:
Willy Q. Tee Ten
President of Autohub Group/Aerohub Group of Companies
“I am positive. With the motoring industry aiming to reach 310k to 340k plus cars this 2016, our industry seems to be getting more and more exciting, promising and, likewise, challenging.
“Promising, because of the different new and better models that will come out [which was actually launched last year] from the different car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan, Mazda, our new Mini Clubman, the Rolls-Royce Dawn, the Lotus Evora and more this 2016, and challenging, at the same time, because that means more competition in the market, not to mention all the new car brands that came in last 2015 and will continue to enter the Philippine market this year.
“The car manufacturers bringing in better models, improved marketing strategies, along with the banks providing the consumers more flexible financing schemes, will surely help improve the numbers.
“And with this growth in the automotive sector, I am looking forward to a new governance in this year’s coming elections in solving the Land Transportation Office plate delays, the worsening traffic situation and hoping for more infrastructures for a better Philippines this 2016 [because we normally get those blame as car dealers]. We just have to look at these challenges as opportunities for growth and future success.”
John Philip Orbeta
President and CEO of Volkswagen Philippines
“The record-breaking sales of the Philippine automotive industry in 2015 is proof positive that our country is entering a new golden age of motorization. Over the past few years, both the public and private sectors have laid the groundwork for a vibrant economy and a progressive socioeconomic climate. Rising incomes have partnered well with attractive, yet prudent financial options, making vehicle ownership much more accessible to Filipinos than ever before. We see the automotive sector continuing to generate unprecedented growth in 2016.
“Volkswagen Philippines has certainly benefited from these robust elements of the Philippine economy, and our dealerships have reported good sales of our product lines of premium sedans, hatches, multipurpose vehicles and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) throughout 2015. We attribute our success to the Volkswagen brand heritage built over many generations, and which has endeared Filipino motorists to the German marquee.
“Volkswagen Philippines is grateful for our customers’ continued trust in our brand and service, and we will continue this time-tested tradition of world-class engineering and design as we unveil new vehicles and updates of our existing lineups in 2016. With the support of the motoring public, we are confident that 2016 will become another banner year for Volkswagen Philippines.”
Antonio “Toti” Zara
President of Nissan
“THE 2015 industry number was expected to be around 320k units, or a growth of 36 percent versus 2014. We expect the Philippine market to sustain this robust growth as the country continues to experience the early stages of motorization. We strongly believe that in 2016, the industry will reach a double-digit growth. Growth segments will include SUVs, small crossovers, entry-level cars, and commercial vehicles. This will be driven by the continuous strengthening of the Philippine economy, the attractive and flexible financing options for new car buyers, introduction of new models by many automotive brands, and the low fuel prices. The industry will also be bullish, given the coming elections and continued government spending.
“Nissan was one of the fastest-growing brands in 2015 and we aim to sustain this sales momentum as we enter the new calendar year.”
Welcome aboard for Satoru Suzuki, who replaced the magnificent Michonobu “The Rocker” Sugata as president of Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) in solemn, emotion-filled ceremonies at Shangri-La Manila at Makati’s Rizal Ballroom on January 13. With his infectious warmth and superbly friendly manners, Sugata-san has endeared himself to all that he had crossed paths with during his almost six-year stint at TMP. His record as Mr. Helmsman is so profoundly incredible it will take Suzuki-san almost a miracle to surpass, much less equal, the amazing accomplishments that Mr. Rocker has established.