January 20, 2018, 6:58 pm
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Car companies share holiday cheers

It has been an annual tradition, something we in the motoring beat always look forward to in the same way that our friends in the automotive industry do. Thanksgiving and Christmas parties are the car companies’ way of expressing their gratitude for another year of cordial relations and also an opportunity for us to be informal and share the good times. Oftentimes, we are also updated on how they fared during the year and are given a glimpse of their plans for the coming year.

Aston Martin held the first get-together this year by holding a thanksgiving lunch at Shangri-la at the Fort on December 1st. Company president Marc Tagle, managing director Nicky Tamayo and marketing manager Louie Karl Castillo were there to share some good food and stories.

On the same day, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. hosted a get-together spiced up with the unveiling of the 2018 Odyssey and raffle prizes. HCPI president and general manager Noriyuki Takakura highlighted the role of media in their year’s performance that resulted in 26 percent increase in their sales. The long sharing of stories and jokes after the program were simply incomparable.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation had theirs on December 5 at Chaos Bar in the City of Dreams in Pasay City. After last year’s amazing Superstar Singing Challenge, MMPC had a Geisha-Kabuki contest among media. An idea of MMPC president  Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, the five teams from media were given about half an hour to dress and make-up a member of the team to be a geisha or kabuki and presented them on stage with dance numbers. It was simply hilarious. Mr. Oshikiri also announced a satisfying year for MMPC.

Meantime Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. treated their dealers and media friends to a good a night of music at the “Gusto Ko, Kaya ko Sama Tayo” party at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City on December 6. Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez captivated us with her songs. Actor Xian Lim emceed the celebration. Guests were asked to come in their attire that represented their wishes when they were young—doctors, pilots, flight stewards, soldiers, race driver, singers, athletes and beauty queens. HARI president and CEO Maria Fe Perez-Agudo announced that HARI dealers have pledged P100 million to help in the rehabilitation of Marawi.

On December 7, Isuzu Philippines Corporation held its traditional costume thanksgiving party. In previous years, IPC had used themes like western, Japanese, tribal, singing icons, sleep wear or pajamas, and a lot more. This time it was a Hollywood-themed party. IPC organized a Hollywood-themed affair complete with a red carpet entrance and ‘Walk of Fame’ at the new Okada Resort and Casino. Marketing head Joseph Bautista looked dashing in a tuxedo and communications head Nora Liquido was elegant in an Audrey Hepburn attire. Our colleague Tet Andolong of Business Mirror won as Cleopatra.

On December 8, it was the turn of BMW Philippines to host a 90s-themed dinner at Buffalo Wings at Estancia in Pasig City. Marketing head Karl Magsuci hosted a quiz show that highlighted the BMW cars used in the movies and the prevailing songs in the decade. Guests were also requested to bring items that best represented the 90s. SMC-Asian Carmakers president Maricar Parco announced it was a good year for BMW cars and motorcycles.

Michelin Philippines kept their traditional media lunch going this time at Ristorante Alba on Tomas Morato in Quezon City on December 12. Michelin highlighted their activities for the year and the new tires they will launch in 2018.

The last event we attended was that of Suzuki Philippines held on December 14 at the new Ibiza Beach Club at City Center at BGC, Taguig. It was a red and white-themed Christmas night. But the one that took us by surprise was the special entertainment number provided by the Ibiza group of young and talented artists. They sang—non-stop—songs from Broadway and Hollywood movie hits. It was like going to New York or Las Vegas without leaving home. Suzuki achieved a 40 percent increase in sales in 2017 as announced by their General Manager for Automotive Shuzo Hoshikura.

It was a great two weeks of various get-togethers and our only regret was we could not attend to all due to tight schedules. The Good Drive and the Malaya Business Insight Motoring page led by our editor Raymond Tribdino, writers Greg Bautista, Desmond Tribdino, guest writers Jude Morte and Gelzon de la Cruz thank our friends in the industry for going out of their way to make another year special and memorable.

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
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