May 25, 2016

The company is here to stay

Those were the exact final words of Mr. Yoshiaki Kato, president & ceo of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) in closing his speech during the auspicious day that marked the roll off of MMPC's 600,000th unit last week at their Sta. Rosa plant.

The words came as an assurance of MMPC's strength and courage in committing to stay in the country despite recently facing several external hurdles and challenges as reported in international news releases.

The production milestone came within MMPC's 53 years of existence in the country as one of the major players in the automotive manufacturing industry. MMPC started in the early 60s manufacturing iconic models such as the Dodge Colt, Minica F4, Lancer and Cimarron aside from the Mitsubishi trucks.

The MMPC president further cited that despite the debilitating periods of recession during the years of Martial Rule and the late 80s, Mitsubishi did not cease its Philippine operations. Further proof of its unrelenting commitment in pursuing manufacturing operations in the country is its recent application to the CARS Program of the government, which only awaits the release of its Certificate of Registration by the BOI or the Board of Investments.

I'm happy to announce that we shall soon be holding a ground breaking ceremony of MMPC's new press shop facility with an investment of more than Php2 Billion. Next year with the production of the Mirage as nameplate of our participating model in the CARS Program our production volume is expected to reach over 35,000 units in 2017, which is approximately 66% higher than our production plan this year, confidently declared the MMPC president.

The 600,000th unit that was rolled off was a Mitsubishi Adventure, which started production in 1997 and introduced in the market in 1998, the year when MMPC was able to top overall industry sales.

Congratulations to Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.

Want to see the All-New Civic and win a prize?


I'm sure many of you already know that the All-New Honda Civic has just been recently launched and they are now accepting reservations prior to its market release, which is very soon.

In the meantime, Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) has decided since May 15 to bring the All-New Civic closer to its early awaiting buyers via a tour of its leading dealerships.

Here are the remaining dates of the tour and the dealership venue and the variant that would be displayed: Carmona from May 28 - 31 (1.8E), Alabang from May 31 - June 1(RS Turbo), Greenhills from June 2 - 5 (1.8E), Marcos Highway from June 7- 8 (1.8E), Pasig from June 7 -9 (RS Turbo) and Makati from June 11 - 12 (1.8E).

HCPI also announced that customers who go and see the All-New Civic even get the opportunity to win special prizes by simply taking a photo of their favorite variant and posting it on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. Customers who wish to enter their photo should simply tag Honda Cars Philippines Facebook or Instagram account and use the hashtag #CivicReborn .

Here's an update on how the awards for Automobile of the Year People's Choice are shaping up as we combine the votes being cast online and the actual sales of the models.

You can vote for your favorite automobile models online ( and win valuable prizes from its daily electronic raffles.

People's Choice for Automobile of the Year who's leading?

1. Isuzu MU-X
2. Mitsubishi Montero Sport
3. Toyota Hiace
4. Toyota Innova
5. Honda Mobilio
6. Toyota Hilux
7. Isuzu Crosswind
8. Isuzu DMax
9. Ford Everest
10.Honda City
1. Mercedes-Benz E200
2. Mercedes-Benz V 220d
3. Honda Odyssey
4. Chrysler 300C
5. Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG
6. Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG
7. Volkswagen Beetle
8. Volkswagen Golf GTI
9. Jeep Grand Cherokee
10. Volkswagen Passat

You can vote for your favorite automobile models online ( and win valuable prizes from its daily electronic raffles.


Here's what's on Auto Focus this week

The weekly TV treat for automobile enthusiasts, Auto Focus airs every Thursday evening at 10 o'clock on Solar Sports (Channel 70 on Sky Cable and Channel 35 on Destiny).

And for this week we'll have the review of the 2016 Volkswagen Passat and a "head-to-head" between two all-new, top-selling midsize SUVs, the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.

On Autos of the World, where we spotlight newly launched, about to be launched and concept automobile models we'll have on center stage the 2017 Subaru Impreza and the 2017 BMW i3.

We'll also have the highlights of the recently held MIAS at the World Trade Center together with the latest news and developments in the local auto industry.

Don't fail to watch!

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments (email)


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)