Industry

For the First Time, Manila's Premier Auto Show Goes Virtual. Here's What you Missed

MIAS pulled out all the stops to make this year's show extra memorable.
IMAGE MIAS
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The last day of MIAS Wired, the country’s and perhaps Asia’s first-ever virtual auto show, happened on Sunday, December 20. MIAS, or the Manila International Auto Show, is touted as the country’s biggest annual motoring event, where some 150,000 visitors troop each year to World Trade Center every April to see hundreds of current model vehicles, classic and customized vehicles and soon-to-be released new models in the local market. Spanning over 30,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor exhibits, the MIAS is the local auto industry’s mecca for anything and everything with two, four, up to even 10 wheels.

Photo by MIAS.

This year was supposed to be its 16th installment of the auto show. But due to the pandemic, Worldbex Services International, the organizer of the event, decided to postpone and eventually cancel the event barely a couple of weeks prior to President Duterte’s announcement of a nationwide lockdown. The decision was tough for the organizers, and to the brands that regularly join the event who labored hard and spent a hefty sum to prepare for the event.

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Months after the supposed event, the organizers planned and announced to its exhibitors that it will hold MIAS Wired, a virtual auto show featuring 3D 360 degree virtual showrooms and highly interactive virtual booths to take the visitors on a realistic online journey and customer experience unlike any other web-based platforms are providing. It took about three months to prepare for the revamped show, but it was finally held from December 16 to 20. Auto enthusiasts can still visit and experience MIAS Wired through this easy instructional video.

Photo by MIAS.

“MIAS Wired is the first and only virtual automotive event in the country,” WSI managing director Jill Ang said. “It [brought] together the biggest automotive brands and car enthusiasts to showcase the latest updates in the automotive industry. Participants will have the opportunity to check the latest car models, which will conquer the roads soon, as well as get an insider’s access to various car showrooms at the comforts of their own space. The latest innovations and newest automotive trends will also be discussed in this highly anticipated event.” 

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The organizers and brand exhibitors pulled out all the stops to promote the event, including asking celebrity ambassadors to ask their fans and followers to check out the online virtual event. Videos include “Probinsyano”actor Coco Martin, celebrity athlete and talk show host Gretchen Ho and singer Rico Blanco

The event also featured MIAS-exclusive and special deals from the car brands to entice visitors to decide on their latest vehicle purchase. Other activities include the unveiling of some of the brands’ latest models, including the new Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, all the five models of Changan (EADO EV 460, CS75 Plus, Alsvin, CS35 Plus, CS95), Geely’s Okavango SUV, Hyundai’s new Venue SUV, Jaguar’s I-Pace and F-Type Coupe, Jeep’s Gladiator pickup, Land Rover’s Defender and Range Rover PHEV, Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLB SUVs, and even BMW’s newest R18 motorcycle.

Photo by MIAS.

Visitors who logged into the MIAS website will be able to chat with the car brands on exhibits to inquire about test drives and other information about the vehicles they are interested in. Another crowd favorite activity was the MIAS Petron Classic and Custom Car Competition held each year to pay tribute to car collectors and the Filipino spirit of ingenuity, artisan-like craftsmanship and passion for cars. Organizers said that, even if the country will be open up for on-ground live events like the MIAS, these online virtual versions will continue to complement the auto shows of the future.

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