What this country needs is practical, affordable 4-wheeled transportation. Car manufacturers and dealers were able to respond to this properly with the Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz/City, Hyundai Getz/i10, and more recently Suzuki Celerio and Mazda 2. Other responses were, um, improper: Chery QQ, Chana Benni, Suzuki Alto, Chevrolet Spark.
So what we have now are a mishmash of a few good, bad and ugly (Daihatsu Legacy) practicars. What we do not have is the much needed variety and options. This is unfortunate because outside our shores, there are actually a lot of quality econo-cruisers that, if sold here, could serve us Filipinos well.
Here’s a wish list of 8 cars (listed in reverse from good to best) that I would like to see being sold locally and enjoyed by Pinoy motorists:
First of two Malaysian fun mobiles in this list is the Proton Savvy. If you remember, there was an attempt to sell Proton cars in Metro Manila in the 90’s. But it never really took off, mainly because of quality issues, poor after sales support and the fact that at the time Filipinos were not ready to leave their Toyota and Honda comfort zones. More than a decade has passed and a lot has changed. Malaysian automobiles have greatly improved. Filipinos have forgotten the Proton stigma, and more importantly have begun patronizing car brands outside the land of the Rising Sun.
The Perodua Myvi is a very common sight in Malaysian roads. That alone should be enough proof that it’s a quality car. If you’re not yet convinced, consider the fact that the Myvi is a result of a collaboration of Perodua with Toyota and Daihatsu. If you ask me, I’d rather spend my hard earned money on the Myvi (and the Proton Savvy) than the joke on wheels that is the Chery QQ or Chana Benni.
The 2010 version may redeem the Spark brand. I’m pretty optimistic that Chevrolet will bring this to our shores soon, the fact that they’ve already brought in the Cruze.
I believe that Pinoys are ready to receive the new and improved Daewoo with its Matiz Creative. If I’m not mistaken, it shares the same platform with the Chevrolet Spark.
I never was and never will be a Toyota fan. But trust me when I say that the Philippines wants and needs the Toyota iQ.
Remember the Kia Pride Ford Festiva of old? The Blue Oval is definitely not new to the thrifty car segment. Which makes it surprising why Ford Motors Philippines has not yet brought in their gas miser models. They’d better bring in the 2011 Ford Fiesta, to give Mazda 2, Honda Jazz and Toyota Vios a worthwhile contender.
The Hyundai Getz was a good car, but we’re dying for a replacement, so HARI, please bring in the i20!
In the 90’s, the Fiat Uno was sold in Manila, and sadly it left a bad taste in our mouths. The Uno was Yugo-like in the sense that it was totally bare, underpowered, unreliable and of poor quality. Too bad, as the Fiat Uno is actually a champion of another third world country: Brazil. A new, hopefully much better model is coming in 2011, and I have a good feeling about this one. It’s a long shot, but I’m wishing that this Fiat makes it here. The Uno’s mission has always been a people’s car, and I’m confident it would fit the needs of us Pinoys.
So goes my magic 8 list of practicars that should be sold on our shores. If they do make it here and if I will be in the market for a point A to B car, my money would go to the i20 and probably to the Fiat Uno as a second choice. I write this blog as a prayer to the automotive gods, in behalf of Philippine motorists. Here’s to hoping my prayer gets answered.