LTO clears the air
MOTORING TODAY - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 13, 2014 - 12:00am

The social media was ablaze with comments against the pronouncements of the LTO (Land Transportation Office) about strictly implementing existing rules regarding motor vehicles.

First on the list was the announcement that henceforth no coverings of any kind, whether transparent or not will be allowed on motor vehicle registration plates.

Then there’s the strict implementation of the “no plate, no travel” policy as well as the ban on any kind of vehicle modification.

To help ultimately clear the air on these controversial issues we invited to last Sunday’s edition of the TV show Motoring Today (Sundays, 12 noon, Solar Sports, Channel 70, Sky Cable) the very busy official spokesperson of the LTO, Jason Salvador for an on-cam interview on the show’s Motoring Forum segment.

On the issue of not allowing any kind of cover, whether transparent or translucent over the car registration plates, Mr. Salvador qualified that this applies only to the new plates. Old plates may still support some kind of protective cover as long as it does not hinder the easy reading of its alphanumeric combination. But it’s definitely a no, no for the new plates. So, don’t put any kind of cover over your new plates. You can be apprehended and penalized.

When we moved on to the next issue, which is the poised implementation of the “no plate, no travel” policy, which many are against because to begin with it was due to the inability of the LTO to have these plates fabricated, due to so many reasons for a long, long time and not the doing of the vehicle owners. Jason made clear that its scheduled implementation this August has been suspended upon consultation with automobile manufacturers and importers. Though he reminded them to start getting from the LTO the plates of their newly sold vehicles, of which about 15,000 still remain unclaimed.

With regard to the strict implementation of the ban on any kind of vehicle modification, the most howled against LTO policy, especially by car tuners and those engaged in after-market auto products, the young and efficient LTO spokesperson confided that consultations are going on with automobile manufacturers to determine which kinds of modifications can be considered as unsafe or may cause eventual harm or accidents. After which a more firmed up policy on vehicle modification would be drafted.

I hope this clears the air.


New sales record for TMP

The latest word has it that Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has once again made history in the automotive industry by registering an unprecedented sales record of 10,123 units in a single month in July. And this is after just coming from a 9,000-unit sales performance in the preceding month of May. Industry records attest that this is the first time any local automobile manufacturer has experienced such an awesome performance in terms of vehicle sales.

According to TMP, compared to its registered performance in the same month last year, their sales grew by 65 percent. The continued strong performance of its best-selling vehicle in the country, the Vios and the Innova greatly contributed to this enviable sales performance. With the former’s recorded sales last month of 2,480 units and 1,614 for the latter, these locally manufactured Toyota models recorded their highest sales since it was first introduced in the Philippine market. Last month’s performance, as further reported by TMP, was additionally strengthened by other top-selling Toyota models such as the mini hatchback Wigo recording 935 units, the utility van Hiace registering 1,280 units and the SUV Fortuner at 1,350 units.

On a year to date basis, Toyota Motor Philippines registers a substantial growth of 43 percent versus the first 7 months of last year with accumulated sales of 58, 635 as of July 2014.

In a statement, TMP president Mr. Michinobu Sugata assured,

“Achieving more than 10,000 units in a single month is indeed a leap forward coming from a 9,000 unit sales level last May. We see this feat as another motivation to our Team to constantly find ways in serving our customers and partners even better.”


A similar best-ever sales performance for Ford

  Ford Group Philippines (FGP) proudly announced last week its best-ever sales performance since its return to the country more than a decade ago. This record sales performance was registered for the month of July with total retail sales jumping 35 percent year-over-year to 1,723 units. Last month’s record sales was reportedly led by an all-time record month for the Ford Ranger in the Philippines, as well as continued strong demand for the EcoSport, Explorer and Everest nameplates.

Having registered an outstanding sales performance in the preceding month of June, Ms. Kay Hart, FGP’s managing director has this to say, “The continuing rise in appeal for the Ford brand among Filipinos, a strong economy and healthy consumer confidence is helping keep our showrooms busy across the country. And our full line-up of global Ford vehicles is allowing us to connect with and meet the wants and needs of such a wide range of customers.”

Records show that the July sales of the Ranger pickup truck jumped 45 percent year-over-year to 650 units – an all-time record in the Philippines. Year-to-date sales of Ranger have now increased 61 percent to 3,933 units, as the full lineup of 13 variants of the Ranger in the Philippines is providing significant customer choice.

Meanwhile, sales of the all-new EcoSport urban SUV continued to rise in its fourth month of availability with sales of 523 units in July. The compact SUV, according to FGP is helping to define a whole new vehicle segment, recording overall sales of 2,164 units since being launched in the country.

Ford’s other SUVs also contributed to July’s record performance. The Everest delivered sales of 258 units in July, helping its year-to-date sales increase 22 percent to 1,903 units. While the Explorer delivered sales of 98 units in July, with overall sales of the premium SUV having now risen 15 percent from a year ago to 678 units.

FGP also reports that the sporty Fiesta also remains a strong choice among young and trendy Filipinos, with July sales driven by strong demand for its 1.0L Ecoboost variant. The Fiesta’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which was recently named “International Engine of the Year” for the third consecutive year, delivers the power and performance of a traditional 1.6L engine with fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent

FGP executives believe that Ford’s exceptional performance this year is being driven by the success of its ongoing product-led transformation in the Philippines as overall year-to-date sales have risen 41 percent to 10,587 units.


More Hyundai dealerships on the rise

It is very evident that Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) continues to aggressively expand its nationwide dealership network as it recently inaugurated last Friday, August 8 its newest branch in Davao City.

Coming in the heels of the launch of the Hyundai Davao dealership are four others scheduled to be launched before yearend to include those in Marilao, Cabanatuan City, Batangas City, and Pagsanjan. Earlier this year, Hyundai opened a new branch in Parañaque West.

HARI, the exclusive importers and distributors of Hyundai vehicles in the country have committed to build bigger and better facilities that adhere to the global standards of Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). They maintain that the rise of new dealers will boost coverage, making it much easier for customers in Metro Manila and the provinces to access Hyundai’s premium sales, after-sales, and customer service offerings.

HARI contends that by aligning the new dealerships with Hyundai’s Global Dealership Space Identity (GDSI), which is HMC’s international brand identity, customers can expect a “greener” and more brilliant dealer experience with emphasis on bringing Hyundai “Modern Premium” to life.


Road safety seminars continue to roll

For this school year the second stop of the Young Street Smarts Road Safety School Tour was at the Rizal High School in Pasig City. The school has the distinction of probably being the biggest high school in the whole of Asia in terms of population. With 10,000 students, 323 teachers and 123 non-teaching staff in its roaster, it could be “the” biggest.

Last July 11, a Friday an additional 250 students (50 students each from 5 sections) including some faculty members were added to the growing number of road safety seminars and workshops participants, which is now close to 15,000 since the time we started conducting these free teach-ins in 2011.

The objective of the seminar is to make safe and responsible road users out of these eager-to-learn students. It’s actually a joint project of Socio Com Foundation for Asia (SocioCom) and Sunshine Television (STV).

This project runs with the unconditional support from some of the most keenly competing automobile manufacturers and importers, namely; (in no particular order) Columbian Autocar, importers and distributors of KIA vehicles, Asian Carmakers, for BMW automobiles, both from the Alvarez Group of Companies of Palawan Governor Jose Ch. “Pepito” Alvarez, Cats Motors of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler and Jeep, The Car Covenant Company of Chevrolet, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines and Toyota Motor Phlippines and joined by Chevron Philippines, all major stakeholders on road safety.

The Rizal High School is no stranger with the YSS Road Safety seminars and workshops having been one of the first schools visited during the first year and almost every year thereafter. Ms. Marivic Lising, assistant  to the principal for Physical Activities of Rizal High School, who also attended the educational exercise was even suggesting to have it more than once in their school, possibly 3 to 4 times very school year so as to benefit more students.

Conducting these free seminars can be logistically challenging and we would welcome additional support from other stakeholders on road safety—which is everyone. Care to be involved?

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments email /

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with