The most memorable releases at MIAS through the years

The most memorable releases at MIAS through the years

The Manila International Motor Show (MIAS) creates a spectacle that can rival that of motor shows in Geneva, Paris, Los Angeles, or Tokyo. Every year since its inception in 2005, MIAS has frequently reeled in more than 100,000 visitors and showcased more than 200 vehicles — which recall the past, chronicle the present, or predict the future — on a 20,000-plus square meter floor.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When and where will be MIAS 2023 staged?

    MIAS 2023 scheduled to commence from Thursday, April 13, 2023 to Sunday, April 16, 2023, at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City
  • MIAS was born when three motoring journalists pitched the idea of a motor show to Worldbex Services International, a firm already known for staging successful exposition events. As the organizer also forged a partnership with the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI), local vehicle distributors who are members of that group had a platform to showcase their latest models and automotive technologies.

    MIAS 2023

    With the MIAS 2023 scheduled to commence anew — from Thursday, April 13, 2023 to Sunday, April 16, 2023, at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City — it’s fitting to look back to the notable vehicles and events that were witnessed in the annual auto show.

    Manila Motor Show 2005

    Bannered under its former name MMS, the first local motor show of such a scale was held in April 2005. A tradition was born, since almost every April, the MIAS has always been staged in the WTC.

    A fixture in the Philippine automotive landscape was unveiled in MMS 2005, too. Toyota showcased the first iteration of the now-popular Fortuner SUV. Back then, probably a few knew that the brawny, seven-seat SUV would resonate so impressively with buyers, it has always ranked in the list of best-selling vehicles in the Philippines.

    2005 Toyota Fortuner

    BMW, on the other hand, was considered to have activated the largest stage, flexing a whole bevy of models with as the E90 3-Series, 525i, 745Li, the BMW X3 and X5 SUVs, the full line of BMW Motorrad Bikes, and a Z4 roadster.

    2005 BMW 3 Series

    As per a report dated at the time, 68,000 people witnessed MMS 2005.

    MIAS 2006

    Now christened as MIAS, the second edition of the event continued making a spectacle. Other manufacturers also proposed the idea of alternative fuels as a solution to the world's energy issue, too, such as Mercedes-Benz, which presented an A-Class hatchback that was powered by fuel cell.

    In terms of sporty and exciting cars, there wasn’t a shortage of such, either. The 2006 Mazda 6 midsize sedan graced the event — and proudly bearing its ‘Car of the Year’ title bestowed to it by local auto journos. In keeping with Mazda’s ‘Zoom-Zoom’ philosophy back then, the 6 was prized for its sleek styling and athletic driving characteristics.

    Mitsubishi Pajero Evo Rally

    Mitsubishi proved its motorsports mettle with the Pajero Evolution Dakar Rally Race Car, Eclipse coupe, Lancer Evolution IX MR all-wheel drive sports sedan, and Lancer family compact car with a 2.0-liter engine.

    2006 Mazda 6

    What a time to be a car enthusiast in 2006.

    MIAS 2007

    MIAS 2007 saw what would become a MIAS staple — precision driver Russ Swift drifting, skidding, and handbrake-turning a Subaru Impreza WRX STI around a course on the WTC grounds. Appreciating the sporty Subaru cars under the spotlight was one thing, witnessing what it can do in the hands of a pro is another.

    Russ Swift Subaru MIAS 2022On a more mellow note, Honda took to MIAS 2007 to unveil its third-generation CR-V. While the public met the family SUV with mixed opinions owing to the CR-V’s odd, curvy appearance, the car soon won buyers over with its comfortable ride, decent driving dynamics, and bulletproof reliability.

    Honda CR-V

    MIAS 2010

    At the onset of the 2010’s, Chinese cars were steadily trickling down in the Philippine vehicle market. Fresh from Chery’s entry a couple of years ago with its QQ hatchback, it was Great Wall’s turn to convince buyers to pick Chinese vehicles. The company showcased its Coolbear hatchback. It sure grabbed the attention, all right — though reactions were probably along the line of, “That looks quirky! But where did I see that design before?”

    Great Wall Coolbear

    Speaking of distinctive design, no other car was — and still is — as unique as the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The American muscle car had a starring role in Transformers, and its MIAS 2010 debut enabled the public to take home a movie star, so to speak. No, the Camaro didn’t shapeshift into a giant robot on stage, but what it flexed were its brutish styling, leather-lined interior, and the promise of strong engine performance.

    Chevrolet CamaroAccording to an reports at that time, MIAS organizers estimated 75,000 guests this 2010, which is 3,000 more than the previous show.

    MIAS 2013

    Russ Swift arrived in town to dazzle the fans with his superb precise driving, as is customary at MIAS. But this time, he displayed his skills with the Subaru BRZ in the vicinity of the Manila World Trade Center. Along with its twin the Toyota 86, the BRZ was making headlines for being lightweight — Swift didn’t put much effort into drifting the coupe — and for their Boxer engines that burbled within them.

    Peugeot RCZ

    In hindsight, the year 2013 was filled with coupes. Peugeot’s version is a curvaceous, “double-bubble roofed” car named the RCZ. By virtue to its sleek styling inside and out, the RCZ was the perfect model to put Peugeot Philippines back into public consciousness — the French brand was making a local comeback back then. The RCZ isn’t forgotten, as are the previous versions of the 3008 and 5008 and the 508 midsize sedan.

    Mitsubishi Mirage

    But if we’re talking about something that we still know and love, the Mitsubishi Mirage is certainly that car. Shortly after its local introduction, the Mirage arrived at MIAS 2013 proudly wearing its ‘2012-2013 Car of the Year’ medal. The small Mitsubishi was recognized for its exceptional value from the showroom floor and strong results in both qualitative and instrumented tests. No wonder the Mirage is still popular 10 years later

    MIAS 2014

    This year’s MIAS marked India and Germany’s entry to the Philippine scene. Tata Motors unveiled the Manza sedan, the Vista hatchback, the Xenon pickup as well as the Ace and Super Ace compact commercial trucks — all positioned as value-for-money offerings compared to the Japanese alternatives, owing to their showroom prices and economical diesel engines.

    2023 Tata Xenon

    Volkswagen Philippines was serious in its local reintroduction with a true-blue, European lineup composed of the Jetta, Polo, Tiguan, Touran and Touareg. And who can forget the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle? It certainly resonated with Filipino motorists of a certain generation. The compact car with the friendly face and humpback shape began to totter along the country’s roads, like how its forefather did in the ‘60s and ‘70s

    Volkswagen Beetle

    MIAS 2018

    While there was still an abundance of exciting vehicles in MIAS 2018, there were signs that motoring is headed towards a greener path.

    2020-Isuzu-mu-X-Silky-Pearl-White

    In order to conserve fuel and reduce pollution, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid combines the performance of a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor. Meanwhile, the 2018 Isuzu mu-X showed that an RZ4e engine now beats under its hood. The engine features Isuzu’s innovations in combining diesel power with lower emissions.

    MIAS 2020

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic's constraints, the 16th MIAS was conducted online. With the theme “Shifting Gears Virtually,” MIAS Wired took place in December 2020 on MIAS’ website and social media channels. This edition of MIAS marked the debut of Changan in the nation, and many local automakers also took part.

    Changan CS35 Plus

    Clearly, there was no stopping MIAS.

    MIAS 2022

    “Many were excited to again soak in the sights and sounds of MIAS that COVID-19 briefly took away from us,” we wrote in our report, and we added: “There was a flurry of activity and awesome metal that matched everyone's excitement for the 2022 MIAS.

    If you want to know what we’re on about, click this link or read this story.

    2022 Subaru BRZ

    Considering all of this history, MIAS will always be a story for the books.

    Photos from MIAS, Manufacturers, and Roy Robles

    Dylan Afuang

    Dylan Afuang

    Growing up in the 2000s, Dylan browsed through car magazines before reading proper books, and watched motoring TV shows as often as he did cartoons. So, talking about cars came natural to him. His dream car is the Honda S2000.

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