When Willy Tee Ten was in college, he was balancing equations—just one of the many academic challenges and tasks he had to undertake on his way to becoming a licensed chemical engineer.
Fast forward a few decades, and Willy Tee Ten is balancing his valuable time purveying the world’s biggest and most illustrious automotive brands—a stark paradigm shift from his earlier career supplying alcohol to distillery firms.
The metamorphosis began, innocuously enough, on February 26, 1999. That was when Tee Ten officially opened his first automotive venture—Ford Makati, one of the pioneering Ford dealerships. Willy would open more Blue Oval dealerships soon after.
Five years later, Willy opened his first Nissan dealership—again, the first of many. This was followed by a string of auto-related endeavors—Autohub Car Care Services in 2005, Click Auto Car Rental in 2008, V-Kool Tint in 2012, MotoHub in 2017, RentHub in 2018, followed by PaintHub, NextHub and CarHub, all in 2019.
During those years, in 2014, Willy Tee Ten embarked on a remarkable “pay it forward” campaign. Instead of the occasional corporate social responsibility program, he put together a sustained one in the Autohub Institute of Technology—a socially oriented training center that empowers aspiring automotive technicians by providing them not just with one- or two-year TESDA-based Automotive Servicing courses, but also a culture of nurturing and of positive human values. AIT boasts of state-of-the-art shop floor facilities handled by a pool of seasoned professional trainers, with one-on-one mentoring sessions and holistic formative activities.
In May 2016, AIT became the first and only Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved center in the Philippines. IMI is a UK-based company that awards internationally recognized certificates to partner centers worldwide.
The opening of Ford and Nissan dealerships in 1999 and 2004 were just the tip of the iceberg, however. Willy Tee Ten and his fast-growing Autohub Group empire soon opened the showroom doors to more automotive brands—Hyundai in 2007, Mazda in 2010, Foton on 2018, a staggering five new brands—Ssangyong, Kaicene, Geely, MG and Chery—in 2019, and just this year, defying the numerous challenges of a pandemic, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and soon, Fuso. Over a span of 21 years, that’s almost a new car brand added every year-and-a-half!
But to car enthusiasts, Willy Tee Ten is most famous for his iconic British brands—from the ultra-luxurious and breathtakingly expensive Rolls-Royce, to the sportingly hardcore Lotus, to everyone’s beloved Mini, and just last year, the quintessentially British motorcycle brand Triumph.
Willy’s love for cars is so encompassing and outward-focused that he absolutely delights in bringing his customers, staff, and even media friends to the UK factories of those iconic marques. Yes, even to races and shows—the fabulous annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, for instance—participated in by those brands.
But his love for special marques is not confined to British brands. Italy is close to his heart as well. Since 2009, Tee Ten has been the Philippine distributor of the much-loved Vespa scooter. Four years later, he would add Piaggio-Ape. But it was in 2018 when Willy pulled a coup in becoming the official Philippine distributor of handcrafted Italian hypercar brand, Pagani—an example of which starts at US$2 million.
But that’s not all. In 2016, Tee Ten’s Nissan dealerships were appointed as the official exclusive sales outlets of the mighty Nissan GT-R, Japan’s legendary sports car. Three years later, Willy would bring in yet another automotive legend—Shelby—allowing Filipino muscle car enthusiasts the chance to experience gut-wrenching American power under the hood of Mustangs and F-150s.
Today, Willy turns 58—but he still has the infectious energy and enthusiasm of a 30-year-old. He may not be practicing his chemical engineering degree, but Willy Tee Ten has certainly worked his magic with the successful chemistry of his Autohub Group automotive empire. And he’s still got quite a few more concoctions brewing.