Big brother

Before the advent of Big Brother reality TV shows, the term had a sinister connotation.

Taken from George Orwell’s “1984” novel, the term Big Brother suggested that the government was monitoring people to control and suppress their will.

However, something like Big Brother may be good for road safety and efficient public transport.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its line agency, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), are moving to implement something akin to Big Brother.

It’s called the Central Public Utility Vehicle Monitoring System (CPUVMS).

Using GPS or Global Positioning System technology, the CUPVMS aims to monitor real-time number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) out on the road, their speed, their routes, estimated time of arrivals, at any given moment.

Transportation authorities say the CUPVMS will help commuters, and maybe motorists as well, to know the information collated and broadcasted or streamed by this particular Brother Brother to plan their commute or travel.

The LTFRB says the CUPVMS can also be useful in allowing its command center to monitor PUVs for possible violations such as going out of line, taking too long at stops, speeding, and even detecting colorum operations.

Already the LTFRB is using the CPUVMS to monitor Public Utility Buses on the EDSA Carousel that are participating in the Service Contracting Program.

This is just Phase 1 of the CPUVMS rollout, according to LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra.

Phase 2 will see the CPUVMS covering other City PUBs, Phase 3 will cover Provincial PUBs, and Phase 4 will cover all PUVs in other Regional Franchising and Regulatory Offices.

The DOTr says the CPUVMS is part of the overall plan to implement the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

This kind of a Big Brother we definitely should welcome.

Slow August

Vehicle sales slowed in August with only 3,919 units sold by members of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID).

This was 19 percent down from the 4,862 units sold in July and 18 percent down from the 4,753 units sold in August of last year.

AVID attributed the slowdown to the sporadic lockdowns imposed by the authorities following the surge in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila and other areas.

However, AVID says “despite this contraction, the Philippine automotive industry remain on tract toward recovery.”

It pointed out that AVID members sold a total of 39,011 units in the first eight months of the year, a 33 percent increase compared to the 29,363 units sold in the same period last year.

People are still buying more SUVs than passenger cars as light commercial vehicles make up 75 percent of the total industry sales.

“ LCV sales consistently improved with a 44% surge from 19,412 units sold in the first eight months of 2020 to 27,956 units sold in the same period this year,” said AVID.

Ford leads other AVID members in sales in this segment with 11,639 units sold, Suzuki is second with 7,874, while Hyundai is third with 3,420.

Passenger Car sales in the first eight months of the year grew just by 4 percent from 9,758 units sold in 2020 to 10,164 units this year, said AVID.

“The entire industry hit a pothole in August due to the necessary health restrictions. Despite this, we at AVID choose to be optimistic as we approach the final stretch of the year,” says AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.

Pushing hatchbacks

Suzuki Philippines led passenger car sales in the first eight months of the year, according to the latest AVID press statements.

This has not stopped Suzuki from launching a more aggressive campaign to push the trio of hatchbacks in its local lineup—the S-Presso, the Swift, andthe Celerio.

Bucking the trend towards SUVs and crossover, Suzuki continues to push the narrative that hatcbacks remain a popular vehicle of choice among young people.

It says this is hardly surprising if you take into account all the advantages hatchbacks have to offer especially with our current situation wherein you’d prefer to have your own vehicle for mobility.

The hatchback offers practicality and storage space in a relatively compact size while also providing a versatile driving experience.

The stylish and trendy S-Presso can be mistaken for an SUV if not for its size that is nonetheless perfect for urban drives, especially with a 22 km/L rate as tested by Automobile Association Philippines. It also comes with an SRP of Php523,000.

Suzuki describes the Swift as dynamic and powerful in a fun-sized package that comes with an elegant exterior and roomy interior. The Swift comes lately with an P80K-peso discount or a P29K-peso down payment.

The Celerio is touted as the hatchback with incredibly spacious legroom, easy maneuverability, intelligent design and fuel efficiency rating of 27.70 kilometer per liter of for the MT variant as certified by Department of Energy.

It now comes with cash discount of as much as P60K-pesos and down payment of as low as P29K.

Happy Motoring!!! 

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