A Weekend of Motoring

From this day forward, April 2023 will be marked as the month when two of the biggest industries in the Philippines converge into a single weekend. Both the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) and Makina Moto Show were staged on the same days, with the former having a head start of one day.

Enthusiasts, fans, and prospective buyers of four- and two-wheeled vehicles stormed to two popular convention centers: the World Trade Center and the SMX Convention Center, respectively. It helped that these two venues were practically near each other so the attendees, if ever they wanted to attend both, didn’t have to travel far to reach both.

Why is this important? It goes without saying that the pandemic crippled the industry in the past years due to various reasons such as lack of physical marketing and contrived mobility, among others. Having a venue for each industry surely helped jump-start the ailing industries in terms of marketing and sales.

More importantly, it only goes to show the importance of mobility to Filipinos – may it be on four wheels or two wheels. Whether it’s for lifestyle, business, or really just a necessity during these times, the importance of going from one place to another was highlighted in both events.

In case you missed both, here’s a summary of what transpired on both motoring events, or at least what I think was the highlight.

2023 Manila International Auto Show

Amassing a record-breaking 149,000 visitors this year, the 2023 MIAS held at the World Trade Center was bigger than ever. The show started with Ford showcasing the next-generation Territory, one of its most important nameplates. The Blue Oval also gave us a sneak peek of the new Ranger Raptor, with a promise of launching the off-road truck this year.

Subaru highlighted the facelifted Evoltis 7-seater crossover at its booth, capturing the limelight along with a new Forester GT Edition and the new Outback. Peugeot, on the other hand, showcased new variants for the 3008 and 5008 crossovers, while the 3-2008 electric crossover hogs the spotlight, previewing what the French marque has in store in terms of electric mobility.

GAC Motor’s flag-bearer at the show was the Emkoo crossover, which also represented the brand’s new direction in terms of design. The previously introduced Empow sports sedan also got its top-spec GE variant. Changan, on the other hand, showcased a full-lineup display at the MIAS, but with emphasis on the pair of Uni crossovers, the Uni-T and Uni-K. Both models are positioned to be the flagship vehicles of the Changan brand.

Chery reinforces its hybrid offering by showcasing the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid and the Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid. With a mild-hybrid system in the works, these two models are more powerful than their ICE counterparts, while also boasting an intelligent system that adjusts to the user’s driving style.

Geely teased attendees of the MIAS with a new crossover, the GX3 Pro. It’s smaller than the wildly popular Coolray and if it ever arrives, it should be priced under a million, targeting another popular nameplate, the Toyota Raize.

Hyundai put the spotlight on the Ioniq 6, a sedan followup to the Ioniq 5 crossover EV. The 6-seater Stargazer was also on display, which previews the top-spec variant of the MPV. MG, on the other hand, displayed the previously launched GT sports sedan, but the main highlight of the British marque was the ZS Nite Edition, which aimed to reignite the spark the nameplate had when it was launched several years ago.

Two new automakers also made their public debut at the 2023 MIAS. Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor made a comeback with a lineup of crossovers with hybrid variants, and a pickup truck that’s priced competitively. Meanwhile, Jetour Auto, a brand under the Chery Group, also made a splash with its four-pronged lineup, led by the flagship Dashing and the Chery QQ-based Ice Cream EV, currently (and officially) the most affordable EV in the market.

Nissan hosted a massive display of its lineup equipped with Nissan Intelligent Mobility, showing the brand’s commitment to offering intelligent cars to Filipinos. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi banked on nostalgia and heritage by showcasing the 60th anniversary Xpander Cross, Lancer box type and Pajero in pristine conditions, and the championship-winning Strada/Triton Ralliart truck.

Makina Moto Show 2023

For those in the market for two-wheeled mobility, Makina Moto Show, held at the SMX Convention Center, was the event to go to last weekend. The three-day affair showcased bike launches and public displays, along with accessories and discounts for the massive motorcycle industry.

BMW Motorrad showcased the R nineT 100 Years Edition in its booth, highlighting one of the only 1,923 units to be made around the world. It’s equipped with Option 719 parts, including classic wheels and blacked-out engine housing covers and cylinder head covers, among many others. Meanwhile, Chinese brand CFMoto introduced a new member to its NK range, the 800NK. The patented NK design of CFMoto’s latest naked motorcycle is mainly characterized by its sleek LED headlight located at the front.


Husqvarna Motorcycles Philippines unveiled the Norden 901, an off-road-capable ADV motorcycle at the Makina Moto Show. Its attractive retro appearance is accentuated by the colors of the Philippine flag – a tribute to the fact that it will be produced locally at the Husqvarna plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Kymco, on the other hand, adds another expressway-legal scooter to its lineup, the Xciting VS 400. It looks stylish, characterized by an aggressive front and a massive windshield.

Suzuki Motorcycles Philippines showcased two models at its booth – the new Burgman Street 125 EX and the V-Strom 1050DE. Both motorcycles represent the opposite ends of the bike spectrum, offering street style and adventure in different flavors.

Just like Suzuki, Honda Philippines introduced multiple models at the Makina Moto Show. In fact, a total of three were introduced – the new Honda CL500 scrambler, the Honda Rebel 1100 cruiser, and the Honda XL750 Transalp adventure bike.

Yamaha Motor Philippines showcased a massive CODE:REV display at the Makina Moto Show with its entire lineup. Meanwhile, Peugeot Motorcycles joined the market of expressway-legal, adventure scooters with its XP400. It retails at P555,900. Lastly, Kawasaki launched the fully equipped Pulsar N250, which replaces the popular Rouser series.

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