Chevrolet: It started with a perk, & now it’s still on a roll

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2014 - 12:00am

Five years ago, just a few months before the 2010 national elections, a group of intrepid businessmen formed The Covenant Car Company Inc. as the new Chevrolet in the Philippines. Renaming a company that was a legend was difficult enough — taking it to high gear was even more challenging.

On that auspicious day, Covenant’s officers led by chairman emeritus Richard L. Lee, chairman Jose L. Cuisia Jr., executive director Selene Lee Yu and its president, lawyer Albert Arcilla, invited friends to share with them mugs of freshly brewed Chevrolet-flavored coffee.

“This symbolized our introduction to the market as the start of a new brew that will perk the market with its aroma and strength,” said Arcilla during Chevrolet’s fifth anniversary in the Philippines. “Freshly brewed coffee was symbolic of our aspirations for the brand.”

Since The Covenant Car Company Inc. took charge, Chevrolet coasted steadily from the number 12 position to the top eight position in overall ranking in the Philippine automotive industry!

“In 60 months, we have introduced 10 new and exciting Chevrolet models, appointed new dealer partners and erected 13 new dealerships and more than doubled our market share,” Arcilla reported during a gathering with the press at the Makati Shangri-La, adding, “We also posted a record-setting performance in 2014 with a total of 5,954 units sold from January to September 2014, a 74-percent gain over the same period last year and well ahead of the automotive industry growth of 26 percent.”

Tim Zimmerman, president of Southeast Asia, General Motors International, said, “Specifically, we put customers at the center of everything we do. The key objective is to earn customers for life. We build long-lasting and sustainable relationships that are mutually beneficial. All this must be achieved with the highest levels of excellence and integrity. Our brand is driven by ingenuity, innovation and excellence in customer service and satisfaction.”

So what’s in store for Chevy in the Philippines?

“We shall continue to transform our product lineup to ensure we offer our customers the best designed, technologically advanced and top quality vehicles from Chevrolet. A Chevy for every Lifestyle and Life Stage,” Arcilla vowed.

And to cap the celebration, which was also graced by Tad Wakamatsu, general director of General Motors Southeast Asia, he took out a bottle of wine.

“Today as we celebrate five years later, allow me to share with you our bottle of wine. Wine that imbibes the special properties that are likened to our undertakings and our aspirations as The Covenant Car Company Inc. To create excellent wine, you must commit the vines and production to excellent care, skill, passion, patience and a good reputation. The very same commitments we have attached to the brand Chevrolet,” he said.

And he toasted to the journey ahead for all those who put their money where their faith is, to those who intend to get to their destination.

“And may all the roads you pass be smooth, all the bumps paved and the turns all clear. And may you arrive at your destination safe and sound — in a Chevy!” Arcilla smiled.

As a daily Chevy Cruze passenger, I’ll drink to that!

New ‘Hunks’ calendar to raise funds for the poor

This group is flexing its muscles — and the muscles of several hunks — to raise funds for the poor.

Many have observed that the Philippines is a country of great contrasts — beautiful and vibrant, filled with some of the greatest people in the world, but still having communities suffering from great poverty. 

The charity group POP (Projects of Payatas) recently announced the forthcoming release of its new “Hunks” calendar, featuring the best looking and most successful men in Manila, with proceeds going to help poor families in the city. The “Manila Muscle” calendar will be flexed at a party in the fashionable Dusit Thani Hotel on Oct. 25.

The hunks include CEOs, fitness trainers, sports stars, celebrity stylists and actor Derek Ramsay, who have all offered their time for free to support POP’s cause. The funds raised from sales will go to help the poorest families not only in Manila but also in the mountain communities.

In addition to the amazing calendars, there will also be retail items like wine coolers, postcards and iPad covers featuring the models. Some of the places where the calendars can be purchased will include  AC632 in Greenbelt 5; Reception/Ticket desk at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati; Scarves by Destiny Showroom in Somerset Olympia, Ayala Triangle, Makati; ANZA events (Julia Broad); Handlebar (Leanne Jardine); BWA (Sarah McLeod); AWCP Bazaar (Springboard table);  and Jan Harris at Berde Bags.

The models are expected to attend the launch party on Oct. 25.

POP  is thankful to, Dusit Thani Hotel, Smiles by Dr. Cecile, The Handle Bar and Titania Wine Cellar for their dedication and support. (You may e-mail me at


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