Stepping Up: Motor Show venues converted into quarantine facilities

If there’s one thing that the current COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that car companies can extend their leniency to their customers amid the crisis. 

Several policies were put in place from several brands, on top of the production suspension that will limit their cash flows. And we’re not talking about car brands here in the Philippines; globally, automakers are in unison to prevent and aid the efforts in curbing the worst crisis the Earth has to face, yet.

The most notable is the extension of warranties and PMS schedules. For the uninitiated, if you have an expiring warranty while in lockdown, you may be worrying that you won’t be able to maximize the coverage since dealerships are closed and you’re not allowed to go there anyway. 

Car companies want to take those worries away since most brands have extended their warranties – some brands, like Suzuki Philippines, even gave its customers up to 90 days extension, while Kia Philippines extends its warranty by 30 days after the quarantine has been lifted.

This goes the same for PMS schedules missed, which these car companies extended to avoid violation of the PMS agreement. Kudos to them for that.

Motor Show cancelled, venues repurposed

As early as March 2020, major international motor shows have been canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis. It started with the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, which announced the cancelation days before the event. Despite the short notice, it’s still a welcome move, we reckon because huge gatherings are one of the primary avenues for viral transmissions. 

If you haven’t heard by now, the keyword for this pandemic is social distancing, which means literally staying about six feet apart from each other. This is basically the major reason why these motor shows are getting canceled, apart from obvious causes.

From there on, other motor shows follow suit. The Detroit Motor Show, otherwise known as the North American International Auto Show, has been canceled completely. It was supposed to happen in June of this year but since canceled, it’s projected to resume next year in the same month.

Even better, the TCF Center, which was supposed to be the venue of the 2020 NAIAS, has been repurposed as a hospital for coronavirus cases. Of note, Detroit, Michigan is one of the coronavirus hotspots in the United States.

Other auto shows that have been postponed include the New York Auto Show and Beijing Motor Show – both are supposed to kick off this April but were otherwise rescheduled to later dates.

In the Philippines, the Manila International Auto Show, which was slated to happen on April 2-5, 2020, has been canceled as well, as announced in March. While that can have a huge effect on the local automotive industry, this move was hardly a surprise.

What’s surprising, however, was the conversion of the MIAS venues into quarantine facilities. Take note that the MIAS had added the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) this year to its usual venue at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.  

Spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), both PICC and World Trade Center are being converted into quarantine facilities for COVID-19 cases, as announced through MIAS organizer Worldbex Services International (WSI)’s press statement.

According to WSI, the conversion is well underway and ahead of schedule in order to keep up with the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. The WTC in Metro Manila boasts a 3,700 sqm gross area, which houses 12,700 sqm of contiguous indoor space at ground level and 21,000 sqm of outdoor space. The PICC, on the other hand, has a total of 70,000 sqm. of floor area and five building modules.

We are now well into the first month of the government-imposed quarantine, and albeit slowly, we’re seeing more and more developments in our country’s crisis containment process. The help coming from WSI, as well as the extension policies imposed by car companies, would go a long way. And frankly, at these times of crisis, any help should be welcome because there’s no way to defeat this virus but together – six feet apart.

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