The much-awaited all-new 5-Series was exclusively launched last July 4 at theGlobe Theatre, Bonifacio Global City first to the motoring media during lunch, followed by another unveiling in the evening to dealers, customers and friends by Asian Carmakers Corp. (ACC), the official importers and distributors of BMW vehicles in the country.
Touted as the "ultimate business athlete", the all-new 5-Series, which is now in its 7th generation is presented by BMW Philippines as the vehicle "that's just as good to ride as to drive, the progressive business sedan for those who work hard and party hard."
"The 5-Series has been one of the strongest products in our portfolio. In the Philippines, it contributes about 20% of our total sales volume annually and we're very excited that we finally have the all-new model in our shores and Filipinos will now get the chance to dive home a BMW 5-Series," remarked Ms. Maricar Parco, the lovely lady president of ACC.
The all-new 5-Series have three variants available in the country, namely, a 520d variant in Luxury trim and another inM-Sport, which are both powered by a 2-litre BMW twin power turbo diesel engine and the top-of-the-line 530d luxury with a 3-litre BMW twin power turbo diesel engine.
In an impressive presentation emceed by radio and TV personalityJinno Rufino, BMW Philippines, marketing directorKarl Magsuci described the 7th generation of the all-new BMW 5-Series as the "ultimate business athlete that's just as good to ride as to drive" .
During the media launch of the all-new BMW 5-Series, after much industry speculation fueled by perennial coffee shop talks and by press releases from neither of the parties involved, the demure yet very dynamic president of Asia Carmakers Corp. confirmed the much talked about but never corroborated merger of BMW Philippines, under the management umbrella of the Alvarez Group headed byPalawan GovernorJose Ch. Alvarez and San Miguel Corporation lead by business tycoon and known car enthusiast, Ramon S. Ang.
In my exclusive one-on-one, on camera interview, Maricar, the darling of the motoring media for her ever-accommodating demeanor long before being the lady CEO of BMW Philippines and even up to now said, "BMW continues to poise itself to be the market leader in the country. We have been the luxury brand market leader for 14 years running now. We would like to continue to do so and to do this we feel that we also need to strengthen the organization. With that, yes, we will have some changes in the organization. We will have a group joining us very soon. That will be San Miguel Corporation. We will be joint venture partners."
This may also end speculations on whether the well-known astute businessman who steered SMC to being presently the country's largest conglomerate would take on the top-selling premium luxury automobile brand on his own or by way of any of the huge business enterprises he presently heads.
Most industry observers are of the belief that this newfound synergy between its present dynamic management and the incoming stakeholders could bring BMW Philippines to greater heights.
I can only have kind words for corporate entities that show concern and compassion to our country's populace through their CSR projects especially if they are geared toward the marginalized youth who can't choose their parents to be wealthy to afford whatever they need while growing up.
Suzuki Philippines recently demonstrated its continued support to aspiring Filipino football players and stronger partnership with the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation by distributing soccer balls and other items toGawad Kalinga's sport program Sipag.
"Suzuki Philippines is honored to be part of such a heartwarming cause that aims to build up young and aspiring football players. It is important for them to be raised and trained this early, and Gawad Kalinga has given us this wonderful opportunity to be part of these young children's lives," Suzuki Philippines General Manager Shuzo Hoshikura remarked during the turnover ceremonies held last July 5.
Way to go, Suzuki Philippines!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.
At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.
From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.
In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).
In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.
After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.
The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.
In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.
In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.
Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.
Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)