Time flies when you’re having fun. Apparrently also when you are having a successful year. Both statements should certainly be true for Kia Motors Philippines now celebrating its first year under Ayala-owned AC Motors.
In just a year as part of the Ayala group, Kia Motors Philippines launched four new models — the Soluto, Stinger, Forte and Seltos. Three face-lifted models— the Sorento, Sportage and Carnival. Two enhanced models— the Picanto and Rio Hatch. And one Light Commercial Vehicle — the K2500 Karga.
The year 2019 saw Kia bounce back from three straight years of declining sales, selling 5,019 vehicles compared to the 2,238 unit sales in 2018, a 124% growth rate.
To celebrate the stellar year of success, AC Motors organized what it called the Kia Anniversary Drive, inviting nearly 40 members of the motoring media to test its newest entry to the Philippine market, the Seltos, on a drive to and from Metro Manila to Costa Pacifica, Baler.
In his welcome remarks to participants of the Kia Anniversary Drive, Kia Philippines president Manny Aligada attributed Kia’s successul 2019 to an expanded model lineup.
Mr. Aligada also revealed a good bit of Kia’s plans for 2020. Said he: “We will be formally launching at the Manila International Auto Show in April our new marketing slogan which is ‘Kia. Designed for You.’ It imparts the message that each and every Kia that is built is designed and engineered with people’s wants, needs, lifestyle goals, and well-being in mind. There is a Kia for every need and want, from the everyday sedan, the lifestyle oriented SUV and crossover, the family-friendly minivan, and even the business-minded LCV.”
Mr. Aligada appears optimistic of an even better year for Kia Philippines. The company is targeting to sell 10,000 units while expanding its dealership sales and service network to reach out to more Filipinos, he added.
Sunshine Television staff members got a chance to ride and drive various variants of the Seltos, Kia’s latest entry into the crossover segment. Ten units of the Seltos were made available for the Kia Anniversary Drive which meant it was four to a vehicle, the better to experience the roomy interior and fun in-car amenities and features.
The route taken included a mix of open highway and twisty mountain roads, the better to experience, according to Kia, the power of Seltos’ 2.0-liter Dual CVVT-equipped motor that produces 149ps at 6,200rpm and 179Nm at 4,500rpm as well as Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission with Drive Mode Select which allowed drivers to enjoy their choice of relaxed, economical cruising or a bit of fun out on the open roads.
While on the drive, driver and passenger stayed connected using the Seltos infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Participants also got to experience other Seltos features and amenities, depending on what variant they got to drive. These include cruise control on the EX and SX variants and reverse cameras.
Child Safety in Cars
It was in February last year when President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11229 or “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.” Now roughly a year later, the Department of Transportation announced that the Implementing Rules and Regulations for RA 11229 has been signed and approved.
RA 11229 mandates the use of a child restraint system for all children 12 years and below whenever they ride in a vehicle.
It also makes it unlawful for children 12 years old and below to sit on the front seat of a vehicle with a running engine or while being transported on all roads.
Among highlights of the approved IRR for RA 11229 is a provision that makes it unlawful for children to be allowed in a vehicle without an accompanying adult.
The IRR for RA 11229 also mandates the Department of Trade and Industry — Bureau of Philippine Standards to set product safety standards for child restraint systems to be manufactured, distributed or sold in the country.
Under the IRR, compliance with the use of the mandatory child restraint systems will be enforced after a one-year transition period, on until February 2021, to provide government agencies time to prepare for the enforcement of RA 11229 and a nationwide education campaign about the law aimed at ensuring the safety and welfare of child passengers.
That’s roughly another year for this really important law to be fully enforced. Here’s hoping that when that time comes, RA 11229 will be enforced strictly and properly.
It is expected that this would mean additional expenses for parents with cars. But who counts the cost of keeping children safe and secure on the road.
Good News for Truckers
Another section of the NLEX Harbor Link is to be opened to motorists before this week ends. Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar has announced that the Malabon Exit of the NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 section along Dagat-Dagatan Avenue will be opened to the public on February 21.
The opening of the latest link of the NLEX Harbor Link project brings closer the time when cargo trucks and container haulers can travel from the Port Area to the NLEX, or vice verse, in just 10 minutes. More importantly, they can use the link 24/7.
“We are anticipating that truckers and freight forwarders will greatly benefit from this new road since their cargo trucks will have 24/7 access, and in turn translate to faster delivery of goods to and from the provinces in North and Central Luzon,” said NLEX Corporation Chief Operating Officer Raul Ignacio.