15th MIAS highlights ‘fun and function’

Record 142,000 Visitors

“When we think about why people would want to go to (the Manila International Auto Show [MIAS]), two things come to our mind: fun and function. At the end of day, what we hope, want, and expect from our show is to immerse (our guests) in experiences that are fun as well as to be exposed to the function of the latest innovations in the automotive market,” thus explained Worldbex Services International (WSI) founding chairman Joseph Ang the theme of this year’s edition of the MIAS.

Staged from Thursday last week until Sunday at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, WSI’s annual summer showcase of everything automotive once again stamped its mark as the country’s preeminent and largest car show. This year’s MIAS was organized for the benefit of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc., and was truly a crucial barometer for the health of the local auto industry. The sector had been widely viewed as reeling from the negative effects of the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, which had levied higher excise taxes on the new car sales, with a few category exceptions.

Hyundai Palisade

The public didn’t disappoint with its support. In fact, the 142,000 who attended the four-day spectacle marked an all-time high for the show. Rightfully so, as MIAS is widely considered a popular occasion for motoring fans to catch up on the latest from a variety of auto marques and after-market suppliers. Participating brands have been known to take advantage of the event to launch new cars and offer deals for people on the lookout for a new vehicle or accessories. Immersive and interactive activities abound for visitors of all ages.

“New models will spur more sales but a lot of the recovery will depend on buyer sentiment. The economy is still in growth mode so that will help the auto industry get back to previous sales levels,” said MIAS co-organizer Jason Ang to The STAR. He also noted that the featured vehicles this year were “an interesting mix of practical and fun cars—just right for the MIAS 2019 theme of Fun and Function. There were sedans and small SUVs like the MG 6 and the Subaru XV GT, premium family SUVs like the Hyundai Palisade, and dream cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Kia Stinger.”

Worldbex founding chairman Joseph Ang

He admitted to seeing a trend towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, “as gasoline and diesel prices continue to rise.” Jason Ang added, “When variants are launched, they usually come with smaller engines and drivetrain configurations that are geared for fuel efficiency. Small and snazzy cars like the Suzuki Jimny and Hyundai Kona will see substantial demand.”

While the total indoor and outdoor exhibition space for show totaled around 30,000 square meters, Ang shared that MIAS had “filled up most of the space of the current venue.” He intimated that they’re “considering moving to a bigger space.”

Ford Philippines managing director Bertrand Lessard

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