Grab PH has new country head

Grab Philippines country head Grace Vera Cruz (Photo courtesy of Grab Philippines)

MANILA – Ridesharing and delivery firm Grab Philippines (Grab) on Thursday appointed a new country head, a couple of months after Brian Cu stepped down from the position.

In a statement, Grab said the appointment of Grace Vera Cruz was effective immediately, with her focus currently on promoting synergy between the company’s several services “to better serve customers, driver-partners, merchant-partners, and corporate partners in the Philippines as One Grab.”

“She will also drive ‘Grab for Good’ initiatives to contribute to the Philippines’ longer-term socio-economic development,” Grab said.

Vera Cruz has had 15 years of business experience. She was previously the managing director of Seawood Resources, a Philippine-based international investment company, and has held key positions in McKinsey & Co., CLSA Exchange Capital, and Shell.

She said she was “proud” to join Grab and lauded the company’s charitable activities during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic through the “GrabBayanihan”.

“I look forward to working with the team to leverage Grab’s technology and innovation to help Filipino communities safely and sustainably recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Vera Cruz said.

Russel Cohen, group managing director for Grab, said he was confident in Vera Cruz’s ability to lead and help its drivers and small businesses to use digital services to “grow and support the Philippines in its economic recovery.”

“With Grace’s proven credentials in leadership, operations, and strategy, I’m confident she brings deep expertise and understanding,” Cohen said.

On August 14, Cu stepped down as the country head of Grab to pursue other business interests. (PNA)

MG motors PH opens Zambo City branch

BUSINESS AS USUAL. Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar (2nd from right) and Vice Mayor Rommel Agan (2nd from left) lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020) that signals the entry of the MG Motors Philippines in Zamboanga City. The MG Motors-Zamboanga is the company’s third branch in Mindanao. (PNA photo by Teofilo P. Garcia Jr.)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Local government officials are elated that despite the prevailing health pandemic, MG Motors-Philippines still pushed through with Saturday’s opening of its branch here.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the event’s guest of honor, said the opening of the MG Motors-Zamboanga was “a blessing” since the city is celebrating the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival this year.

It also reflects, she said, that investor confidence remains high for the city and “there is hope and there are employment and business opportunities” even amid the pandemic.

The third branch in Mindanao, MG Motors-Zamboanga is a joint business venture of a group of local businessmen and from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

Salazar said the opening of the new business “is a sign of inspiration. “They are sending an important message that investor confidence and the belief in the economy, things are possible.”

Vice Mayor Rommel Agan said the entry of MG Motors was an indication that the pandemic is not a hindrance to new investments.

“Despite the hardships we are experiencing, there are still businessmen who have confidence in investing in the city and this is a good sign,” Again said.

The vice mayor said it shows they have confidence in the business environment of the city.

Eugene Yap, MG Motors-Zamboanga president, said the city is the right market for quality cars at affordable prices.

Yap said they are initially introducing sports utility vehicles and cars and later this year they will bring in pick-ups and trucks.

MG Motor UK Limited (MG Motor) is a British automotive company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and a subsidiary of SAIC Motor UK, which in turn is owned by the Shanghai-based Chinese state-owned automotive SAIC Motor. (PNA)

Entry-level, commercial vehicles to drive PH car market

MANILA – Entry-level vehicles and those that are used for businesses will drive the Philippine car market until the end of the year.

KIA Philippines president Emmanuel Aligada, in a virtual media launch of the new Stonic on Friday, said the new sales target of the industry for this year is possible to be achieved with a strong interest for entry-level cars and commercial vehicles.

“There’s strong interest in entry-levels, as I have said before. Those who are very conscious and very concerned about safety on travelling as the economy has opened, and therefore the entry-level vehicles are the ones that getting a lot of interest. Plus of course, that those are used for the businesses, the commercial vehicles,” said Aligada.

He mentioned that the industry’s original target for this year was 420,000 units. But due to the challenges brought by the pandemic, the carmakers now eye 275,000 units by end-2020, down by 35 percent from the original target.

He noted that the auto industry had a slight decline last month as the government decided to revert Metro Manila and four other nearby provinces to stricter community quarantine measures.

The industry expects recovery this month as lockdown measures have been eased, added Aligado.

“With about a little over three months left for the year, it looks like we will be able to hit that 275,000 target by the end of the year,” the executive said.

Meanwhile, KIA Philippines unveiled its eleventh car model in the country, the compact crossover KIA Stonic.

With a starting price of PHP675,000, Stonic’s market is the young and active millennials.

KIA Stonic will be launched here on October 15 and will be available in KIA dealerships nationwide.

From 30 dealerships at the start of the year, KIA Philippines eyes to end 2020 with 38 networks nationwide. (PNA)

Maxus launches G50 in PH market

NEW MAXUS G50. The new Maxus G50 multipurpose vehicle that was launched in the local market on Tuesday (Aug. 25, 2020). This is the second light commercial vehicle model introduced by Maxus in the Philippines this year. (Photo courtesy of Maxus Philippines)

MANILA – Maxus Philippines on Tuesday launched the G50 multipurpose vehicle (MPV) in the country, signaling confidence in the local market amid the pandemic.

The eight-seater MPV is an addition to Maxus’ light commercial vehicle models available in the Philippine market.

“We are still quite optimistic that once this volatility passes and things sort of normalize, we can look forward to better days. That’s part of the reason why we bring the G50 in at this period of time. We want to kind of get ahead with the curve, make it already available to people, encourage people who are in need of a family vehicle to consider the G50 now,” Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. (ACEI) President Felipe Estrella said in an online press conference.

The G50 is the second new model introduced by Maxus in the Philippines this year after the T60 pickup that was launched in March.

Estrella said both newly launched models would share 25 percent of Maxus’ sales in the country.

“We’re looking at about 25 percent contributions split equally between T60 and G50 for Maxus, mainly because these two products are really mainstream and the ones that consumers across the country will gravitate towards,” he added.

As an MPV, the G50 can function as a family vehicle and can be used by businesses for deliveries.

“We likewise appreciate the hard work of micro, small, and medium enterprise owners. The reliability, efficiency, power, and versatility of our products make them ideal for businesses and even essential, life-saving purposes. The G50 is our latest vehicle that caters, again, to the Filipino family,” Estrella said.

He noted that the second half of the year remains uncertain for businesses but the company remains optimistic with the market in the future.

“I think we’re still quite excited about the prospects of the vehicle in the market. We recognize that there are still some headwinds facing us because of the realities that are present but again, (we’re) optimistic and looking forward to the future,” Estrella said.

The prices of the Maxus G50 ranges from PHP1,088,000 to PHP1,288,000. (PNA)

Isuzu customers, through Isuzu Kasama Mo Campaign, donates PPE’s to chosen partner organization

MANILA — As part of IPC’s response to the global pandemic, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) launched its “Isuzu Kasama Mo” campaign last June 1 and made its initial donation of medical personal protection equipment (PPE’s) to its partner institutions on July 10.

In a simple turnover ceremony held at the IPC headquarters in Binan Laguna, representatives of the partner organizations namely; Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Red Cross and Caritas Manila, received the PPE sets from IPC executives in behalf of the customers.

The PPE sets will be used by the partners’ brave and devoted front-liners who continue to risk their lives for their fellow citizen.

The campaign which actively promotes the value of sharing and caring, gives an opportunity to Isuzu customers to support front-liners in every Isuzu vehicle they purchase.

“The donation that our partners will be receiving today, comes from the kind heart of our valued customers,” said IPC President Hajime Koso.

“We hope that this donation will go a long way in protecting the health and safety of our frontliners. We assure our partner organization that this will not be the end of our assistance to them, as we vow to continue to support them in fighting this pandemic,” added President Hajime Koso.

The “Isuzu Kasama Mo” campaign runs until July 31, 2020. To know more about this campaign, and how to support frontliners with every purchase of an Isuzu vehicle, log on to http://www.isuzuphil.com, or get in touch with any authorized Isuzu dealership.