Hyundai forges ahead in the Philippines

The South Korean automaker is gunning for a larger share of the growing Philippine auto market, and builds on partnership with X-1R to achieve its goal.

While we do not expect the Philippines to be able to rival Thailand or Indonesia as the auto hub of South East Asia – at least not in the near future – the country is steadily building its auto industry on the foundation of a youthful workforce and recent economic boom. Philippine auto sales continued to rise in February, with a 22.6% increase compared to the same month last year, achieving 20,663 units sold; this has contributed to the 21% increase in year-to-date sales.

Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino is expected to implement the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS), an automotive incentive programme that could benefit up to three automakers by offering significant tax breaks, sometime this year. The Trade Ministry is not yet forthcoming with details of the programme though.

Any government support will be, of course, welcomed by the automakers, especially as they try to wrest market share from Toyota which dominates more than 45% of the market. Take Hyundai, the country’s third largest car player in terms of units sold and the fastest growing car importer in the country, for instance. The South Korean brand ended 2015 with sales of 23,019 units, an increase of 4% from the 22,033 units the year before. While its growth was lower than the industry average, Hyundai has high ambitions of increasing sales by 25% this year, relying on the newly-launched Sonata and three other models slated for launch this year. President of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, has said that: “As the Philippine economy continues to be a bright spot for growth in Asia, Hyundai drives forward in 2015 as we strengthen our service excellence and expand our product line.”

HARI has been trying to differentiate its brand from the rest; amongst its efforts is to provide quality aftersales service and in an unprecedented move, as we have reported on this blog a year ago, HARI partnered with X-1R to supply and distribute the X-1R Engine Treatment under the HFT Engine Treatment brand. While the average Filipino would make his/her car purchasing decision based on price first, between two marques in the same price range, the one that offer reliable aftersales service and products might just tip the scale in its direction.

Now, a year since entering into partnership, HARI and X-1R have added a second product to the HFT brand – the X-1R Engine Flush which will be rebranded as the HFT Engine Flush for this collaboration. A HARI spokesperson explained the new addition by stressing the importance of using a quality engine flush to maintain optimum car performance: “Even quality motor oils can form acids due to combustion by-products. These grit and sludge-forming acid residue can remain in the crankcase even after draining the oil and replacing the filter, hence the need for the HFT Engine Flush.”

The signing ceremony between HARI and CSI.

During the signing ceremony with CreativeSparx, Inc.(CSI), exclusive Philippine distributor of X-1R products, HARI’s Assistant Vice President for Service, Richard Gapasin, commented: “We at HARI only carry products with proven superior quality like X-1R and deal with very supportive companies like CSI.”

Brixton Aw, CSI president, said, “We will continue to do our utmost to satisfy our customers and support them in whatever way we can. HARI is our much valued customer and strategic partner; we are truly grateful.”

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