Story & Photos by Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes
OTHER than waking up in the morning and marveling at the wonder of the sun rising up in the East, there’s also another good reason one can face the same direction—or head toward the said course for that matter—as Foton recently opened its first-ever showroom in the province of Rizal.
Seated along the stretch of Ortigas Avenue Extension in Cainta, the 1, 300-square-meter facility equipped with a seven-vehicle showroom, parts and service center, and sales offices under the management of Cherub Auto Dealer is now ready to serve clients from Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay, Angono, Tanay and Binangonan, among many others.
“Just over the recent years, we cannot deny how much Cainta has flourished. That is why opening a Foton Dealership here [in Cainta] is certainly another milestone for Foton Philippines,” mother company head honcho Rommel Sytin said.
“This dealership is another proof of Foton’s commitment to our vision of making Foton a premier vehicle brand in the Philippines. This furthers our efforts to exceeding our stakeholders’ expectation by offering not only quality and technologically competitive products, but also professionalism in our service and business operations,” he added.
The said Cainta hub is the passenger and commercial vehicle brand’s 24th dealership in the country. It is also the fourth dealership of Lica Auto Group along with Foton Calamba, Foton Lipa and Foton Pasong Tamo.
Moreover, the said municipality is considered as one of the major gateways to the rest of the Rizal province from Metro Manila for its geographical location. Due to its significant economic characteristics, it has become a first-class borough where it can be a key potential market wherein, together with Lica Group, their expertise will surely help the steady growth of the brand and further contribute to the economy of Cainta.
In fact, according to a 2015 census, other than its population of 322,128 people (second most populous municipality), it also has an income of P1,251,517,325.79, rendering it to be the richest municipality in the country in terms of income revenue growth.
“We see the opportunity amid the adversity of high taxes on vehicles and that is the exponential growth in rural/urban developments in the countryside like here in Cainta, which is the gateway to Rizal province,” Foton Cainta Dealer Principal Rene Limcaoco said.
With this in mind, despite the automotive industry’s struggles in the early part of the year, Foton still posted a double-digit 16-percent growth for the first quarter of 2018 based on consolidated CAMPI and Avid Sales Report. The company ranked No. 10 in the first quarter, a remarkable achievement they plan to surpass as the year progresses.
“We have achieved this unprecedented feat despite the fact that the automotive industry is slightly down by 7.86 percent for the first Quarter of 2018 against previous year,” Sytin shared.
According to the Chinese automaker, the commercial vehicle segment still took the bigger chunk of sales with 63 percent, while the passenger vehicle segment covered the remaining 37 percent.
They claim that their reliable, durable and efficient Euro 4 Blue Energy vehicles were largely a part of this initial success. These were, in particular, the Toplander SUV, Thunder Pickup, the Toano, Traveller for the vans and light-duty trucks, their “state-of-the-art” Tornado M Series.
LICA Auto Group COO Doroteo Sornet also divulged that the said dealership east of the Metro was intended to be a “3S” dealership, with sales, service and spare parts all in one place—a one-stop shop per se in which they target to sell 25 units per month. He added that the service area located at the back where their tractor heads and trucks are, is still under construction.
Aside from Foton Cainta, Lica Auto Group also plans to soon open Subaru and Chevrolet dealerships together, along with the already existing Honda Rizal and Hyundai Cainta dealerships—all of which are located side by side in one stretch along Ortigas Avenue Extension.
Foton is set to open four additional dealerships in Bauang, La Union; Bacoor, Cavite; Talisay, Cebu; and Puerto Princesa, Palawan, within the year.