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Motoring

Makati Shangri-La, Avis go green with hybrid Mercedes S400’s

Kap Maceda Aguila - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Makati Shangri-La Hotel general manager Reto Klauser laments about something that we’ve known for quite some time. Our airport, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. That’s why top-notch transportation experience is particularly necessary for his hotel.

“(When) a traveler arrives in that airport,” he says, “it is absolutely essential that once our airport representative meets the customer, he is whisked away very efficiently—with a high level of engagement, with a welcome that comes truly from the heart—then escorted to a fine car, (to be) transported as quickly as possible.”

Speaking at the turnover of five new Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID units from CATS Motors, Inc., Makati Shangri-La is certainly stepping up to the plate.

In partnership with its limousine service provider Avis Philippines, the five-star hotel is once again stepping reaffirming its faith in Stuttgart’s premium brand.

Hotel brass thought hard about choosing hybrid transportation. “Research actually started three years ago,” he tells The STAR. “We tried to find out which luxury vehicle in a hybrid configuration would be ready for use as a limousine service for our guests. We wanted to see how the vehicles would develop, and how they would be on the road.”

After the careful and deliberate study, Makati Shangri-La officials sat down with their Avis partners and decided on the S400 HYBRID to bolster its existing fleet of S300 and E-Class units. “It’s more expensive, but there are obviously great benefits that come with using a hybrid car. We are excited at being able to strike the deal,” Klauser underscores.

Meanwhile, Avis chairman Andy Ferreria adds in a speech: “Quality service is driven by innovation. (One) cannot make a difference if you’re not different.” The decision on greener hybrid technology is a first in the local hospitality industry, and is hoped to define future mobility decisions.

Klauser expresses confidence that hotel clientele will be excited about the new vehicles, and revealed that the E-Class sedans will be gradually phased out so that the entire hotel fleet would be comprised solely of premium S-Class cars.

“It is very important and it is an honor for us to be associated with a brand that values performance, is results-oriented,” he says of Mercedes-Benz. “Above all, (it) prides quality excellence as much as we do.”

Combining a V-6 gasoline engine with an electric motor, the S400 HYBRID sedan is the first production sedan to use a lithium-ion battery for its powertrain. Boasting ultra-low emissions and outstanding fuel economy, this groundbreaking feat of engineering generates a combined 295 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of net torque. It has an automatic ECO Start/Stop system and advanced technology that regenerates energy during braking that would otherwise be lost as heat. 

It sports Mercedes’ AIRMATIC semi-active adaptive suspension for utmost riding comfort and no less than eight smart airbags, plus a whole host of cutting-edge active and passive safety features, for occupant protection in case of collision.

In North America, the Mercedes S400 HYBRID stickers for US$92,350.

ANDY FERRERIA

AVIS PHILIPPINES

E-CLASS

HYBRID

IN NORTH AMERICA

KLAUSER

MAKATI SHANGRI-LA

MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

MERCEDES

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