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NEWS UPDATES 31 July 2010

Philippine auto industry goes green

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The domestic auto industry is turning “green,” and it helps that Filipino motorists are becoming “green-minded,” too. During an exclusive roundtable with editors and reporters of The Manila Times on Friday, Elizabeth Lee, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) president, said that the staging of the Third Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS)—which has the theme “Drive the Green Road”—comes at a time when Filipinos have also been increasingly becoming aware of the importance of fuel efficiency.

Lee, also the chief operating officer of Universal Motors Corp., cited a recent study conducted by multinational oil firm Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. where the results showed that Filipino drivers are among the most conscious in fuel use, as reported by the Manila Times

According to Shell’s FuelSave Report 2010, about two-thirds of the 300 Filipino motorists surveyed in March this year said that they look for ways to save on fuel when driving.

The Philippines has the second highest number of fuel-efficient motorists, just behind Thailand among the 11 Asian and European countries polled by the study.

Filipinos are also the most willing to get advice on how to save on gas, the report noted.

The Third PIMS will tap this willingness of local motorists to shift to more fuel-efficient driving practices.

Lee said that the first 5,000 visitors to this year’s motor show will receive a “motoring guide” that will provide tips on how they could become green motorists.

Lee noted that the Filipino trait of being prudent translates to their vehicle purchases, citing that 65 percent of auto sales in the country are commercial vehicles (CVs).

She said that CVs—which include Asian utility vehicles, pick-ups and vans—can be used for multiple purposes besides transporting people.

“CVs can also be used for start-up businesses,” Lee added.

Besides giving away tips on how motorists can cut on their fuel use, she said that the PIMS will also showcase a booth of the non government organization World Wildlife Fund where one can calculate his or her carbon footprint; a charity program called “More Smiles, Less Piles” where kids can donate their old toy cars and trucks to Caritas Manila; and a “Balik-Baterya” campaign where old batteries can be disposed of properly.

The Third PIMS will be held from August 19 to 22 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City (Metro Manila) and targets to attract over 60,000 visitors.

About 20 car brands are participating in this year’s motor show.

Lee said that many participating brands will be launching new models during the motor show, and will showcase concept cars, hybrids and electric vehicles.

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