Diamond Motor Corporation is celebrating its Golden Anniversary this year, 50 years of helping Filipinos acquire and take care of their dream cars. Of course the dream vehicles that Diamond Motor offers has been, and likely as not, will always be, a Mitsubishi.
Starting out in 1969 with one showroom cum service center in Makati, Diamond Motor has grown in five decades to have four more to make it five in Metro Manila, a sixth in Pili in Bicol, and soon a seventh in Legaspi in the same region.
This growth has not been achieved without difficulty, according to George F. Blaylock, Diamond Motor president and general manager.
“We’ve been through many turbulent times in the last 50 years. And we’re here not to forget, not only the difficult times but the good times that we’ve had as well. And more importantly we really are here to honor God. We honestly believe that if it wasn’t for God and His help we probably wouldn’t have made it. So that’s the main reason why we’re celebrating our 50th,” he said in an interview with Sunshine Television, producer of Motoring Today, the longest-running motoring show on television.
George F. Blaylock is the second generation of Blaylocks at the head of Diamond Motor, one of the oldest-running car dealerships in the country. His parents, Van and Concepcion Blaylock, started the company with several partners, including Bernie Whisenhunt, Frank Gonzales and Attorney Sison.
Today George and Candy Blaylock, Diamond Motor chairperson, are the husband-and-wife tandem running the dealership. And they run the company in line with the core values imbued by the first Blaylocks and their partners.
“Well you have to be committed to it. You have to stay focused to your values. Our values are very clear to everyone. It’s God, family, customer, work and care. I mean that’s the shortcut version of it but also the five core values that we stick to,” he said when asked how Diamond Motor has survived the ups and downs of the automotive industry.
Diamond Motor has also succeeded because it has not stopped being innovative, said Blaylock, citing a number of firsts that the company has more or less pioneered in the local auto dealership business.
“I mean there’s a lot of innovations in the last 50 years. I am second generation, passing on to third generation. And I think one of the major achievements or accomplishments that Diamond had is basically being the first in the area of customer satisfaction. It’s something that we’ve focused on in the early 90s,” he said.
Even before this, Diamond Motor has been among the first to upgrade showrooms, customer receiving areas, as well as service facilities that it garnered the best service facility award in Asia in 1986, he said.
Blaylock also said that Diamond Motor is one of the first to emphasize personnel training with the end in view of attaining customer satisfaction.
“We started with our personnel training. Sales training. Parts. Even service technicians. We have focused on developing our people,” he said.
“We’ve even had little competitions within the company wherein we had service teams compete with each other, and sales teams compete with each other. This was way before it was heard of, even in Asia I believe,” he added.
Interviewed just before Diamond Motor’s grand golden anniversary celebration, Blaylock said the company has also been blessed with having good people working for the dealership throughout the years.
“We also have very good people. We have some people who will receive awards tonight who’ve been with us for 30, 40 years. So there’s a lot of experience,” he said.
But he hastens to add that there’s also “a lot of excitement because we do have young people working for us.”
As the second generation of the family and partners running the business, Blaylock acknowledged that keeping good people has always been a challenge and that this will continue.
“The challenge really is for us to keep a hold of the people we have. Continue to train them, develop them,” he said. “The challenge is for them to understand that there are going to be challenges in the future. It’s not always going to be easy. There are going to be hard times. The important thing is to be prepared for it.”
Looking forward, he concluded: “We are moving into the third generation . . . So I’d like my kids and the kids of our partners to continue in that tradition which is to help Diamond grow. Try to be a blessing, not only to our customers but also to our employees. And that’s basically it.”
This year the Department of Transportation (DOTr)has staged an initiative it calls Transport Talks. The concept centers around top honchos or their main minions from DOTr and its attached agencies giving talks or briefings before members of media on top developments in respective areas. The first Transport Talks gave us the following juicy tidbits:
#NewAirportsPorts. According to Transport Secretary Art Tugade, there are plans to inaugurate two new airports and two ports in the first half of year. He didn’t however reveal where these would be.
#NewLicensingRules. Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante reports student driver permit applicants must undergo 15 hours of lectures on road traffic rules, signages, and courtesy before taking tests that will someday be also translated to various local dialects.
#MRT3AdvancedRehab. DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan reveals that rehabilitation works on the MRT-3 is months ahead of schedule.
#LRTCloserToNormal. Light Rail Transit Administration Administrator Rey Berroya expects to see a big improvement towards normal LRT-2 operations by June.
Back on Track
Construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 station at the Quezon Memorial Circle is back on track after the Quezon City government lifted its cease and desist order against work on the above-ground part of the station.
According to a press statement, the QC government, environmentalists, representatives from the National Housing Unit (NHA), engineers, residents, and others, have approved the new design for the station presented by MRT-7 concessionaire San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and the EEI Corporation.
The QC government had earlier issued the cease and desist order because of concerns the above-ground part of the station would affect the integrity of the Quezon Memorial Circle as a national heritage park.
The QC Building Office also claimed that the aboveground floor area of the station being built had substantially exceeded the original location permit issued to the concessionaire and its contractor.
The news design approved by the QC government and various stakeholders only calls for a 426-square meter floor area and a height of 6 to 7 meters.
Congratulations are in order for the DOTr, the QC government and stakeholders, and SMC for resolving the matter quickly and painlessly.