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Newsmakers

A reliable car can even double as your N-95 facemask

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. - The Philippine Star
A reliable car can even double as your N-95 facemask
Atty. Albert Arcilla, MG Philippines president and CEO.

I’m the least likely person to understand cars. My automobile appreciation is only up to its aesthetics.

When MG HS 2022, the latest sleek and, should I say, handsome SUV model of the British-made car, took center stage at the Whitespace launch recently, lawyer Albert Arcilla, president and CEO of The Covenant Car Company Inc., which MG Philippines is part of, made sure I would have a deeper understanding of the new model that was introduced to the market two years after the pandemic.

“Why did you say that MG HS is the car that will be beneficial to one’s health?” I asked Albert with the thought of the pandemic hanging in my thoughts. These days, with the virus still around even if most parts of the country are on Alert Level 1, health is still a prize, a gift so expensive no one should take it for granted.

“Because it’s the car that will give you healthy air inside it. Healthy air. The air that comes inside the car goes through an air filtration system that provides protection against 2.5 PM (particulate matter). These are airborne particulates that help maintain healthy air in the cabin. It makes the air inside the cabin clean, much cleaner than the air outside,” he says.

“Even before the pandemic, we were wearing an N-95 mask because of the volcanic ash of Taal. With MG HS, it’s like you are wearing an N-95 facemask inside your car. Para kang naka-mask sa loob ng car. Figuratively speaking, the car is already your face mask,” Albert adds.

Albert Arcilla with MG Philippines senior AVP and director for national sales Chris Yu and EVP and director for marketing and communications services Lyn Buena, the author and Mel Martinez.

Do people still need a car now considering the price of petrol is skyrocketing?

“Yes, people need mobility. The new model will be finances-friendly when it comes to gas consumption. It has 1.5 inline-4 DOHC turbocharged petrol engine that gives you very high horsepower. At a time when gas prices are very high, would you want to get a car with a very high engine displacement?” Albert says. (He was still explaining the 7-speed twin-clutch sportronic transmission and crisper steering and throttle response but my mind already begged off. It was a nosebleed moment for me.)

The brand, according to Albert, was able to grow exponentially in the last three years despite the pandemic — “our principals, our dealers, even our sales force.”

“All of us were pleasantly surprised. In the middle of the pandemic, we were the least affected by it. In terms of total sales, in terms of total reach. During the pandemic, we even grew our dealer network to 39 from 29 pre-pandemic. People were applying for a dealership while the pandemic was happening,” he adds, adding that the HS is the most awarded model of MG globally. “It’s ‘Car of the Year’ in Singapore; it’s ‘Car of the Year’ in the Middle East.”

In a statement given to the press, Albert says: “Our mission at MG Philippines is, and has always been, to offer superior quality products; and to serve the evolving mobility needs of the Philippine motoring public. The new model is the embodiment of the high standards in design, quality, technology, safety, and value that we perpetually aim to uphold as a brand. The launch this first quarter of 2022 is likewise significant because this model headlines the arrival of other modern, global, MG vehicles that we intend to launch and reveal later on throughout the year. We are primed for a very eventful 2022 and begin so with the HS — the vehicle that invites all to aim higher and make the elevated choice when considering a new car purchase.”

I asked Albert if he could describe to me MG HS in a more romantic tone, adding that I have a very intimate relationship with my own RX5. Look, aside from my bedroom, the next most intimate moments of my life are spent in the car. I spend many hours in the car when I go on a road trip, when I am stuck in traffic. I even write some of my articles in the car. Even fight and reconcile on the phone with my former lover inside the car.

“We have a 10.1-inch touch-screen, diagonal monitor, like you have a TV inside the car. The car can create ambient lighting that you can touch. If you want it blue, green, red. Depending on your mood or what you’re wearing, you can change the lighting inside the car.

A 10.1-inch monitor? I can watch my teleseryes there.

“Yes, size matters,” Albert says. And we both reduced ourselves to lascivious laughter during the interview.

Dreaming in blue with MG HS.

If the MG HS were my lover, what kind of a lover would it be?

Albert is quick to the draw: “MG HS is your reliable partner. Romantic.”

He explains, “Everybody needs to have something or someone to hold on to, something or someone you can rely on. I don’t say it in a metaphysical way. Because next to your bedroom, as you said, you will spend as much time in the car when you’re going out. Therefore, your car has to be a reliable partner.

“That’s the reason people name their cars. We develop an attachment to it. And how can you be attached to something or someone that does not reciprocate what you give? We don’t like unrequited love. We want to make sure it is a reliable partner when we need it most,” he concludes.

So there. I kept my eye on and my emotion to the blue MG HS. I will dream about it and dream how it takes care of my mobility with handsome aesthetics to boot. I will dream about it and dream how it takes care of my finances considering the gas price hike. I will dream about it and dream how it takes care of my health in the time of the still unseen enemy.

I will keep on dreaming.

(For your new beginnings, e-mail me at [email protected]. I’m also on Twitter @bum_tenorio and Instagram @bumtenorio. Have a blessed weekend.)

CAR

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