It was already raining “cats and dogs” outside that Wednesday afternoon after the ceremonial ribbon was finally cut and officials together with the huge number of guests then went inside the well-lighted showroom to start the long-delayed prepared program.
It was a very successful twin-launch of two of Willy Tee-Ten’s Kia dealership – Kia Marikina and Kia Otis Manila – held at the busy corner of UN Avenue and Otis in Pandacan. It was under the umbrella of the Autohub Group and these two new Kia showrooms is now Kia Philippines’ 43rd and 44th dealership, respectively.
To Willy Tee-Ten, president of Autohub Group, the return of Kia to his number of various car brands is very special as he reminded of his first Kia dealership in Jose Abad Santos Avenue, also in Manila.
The popularity of the brand in the country today plus its thrust and focus towards electrification could be a big factor for Willy to choose and get not one but two dealerships for his burgeoning Autohub Group. Willy is one true-believer that the country would turn to “electric vehicles” in the near future.
But he is not the only one who is seeing the “electrification” of the car industry sooner than expected. One other main man that night is Manny Aligada, the president of Kia Philippines, who said that they didn’t wink an eye in giving Willy two Kia dealerships at the same time.
“Opening not just one but two new dealerships is indeed a milestone for us. Under the experienced management of the Autohub Group, we are confident that Kia Otis and Kia Marikina will bring even more joy to our treasured customers. We look forward to a meaningful and fruitful partnership with the Autohub Group in the years to come,” Manny Aligada said during his speech.
Later on, when we caught Manny Aligada at the sideline, he gave us a good view of what Kia Philippines is going to now that they had already a whopping 44 dealerships in the country.
With the eye-catching Kia EV6 in one corner of the showroom that night (yes, Willy was able to borrow one in order to show it to his prospective guests and buyers), Aligada said that Kia Philippines is definitely “going electric” with the introduction of the very popular and award-winning Kia EV6 last February here in the country.
He said that Kia Philippines and some of its dealerships – four to be exact – are now investing “quite heavily” in order to accommodate the Kia EV6 that will herald the entry of the brand towards “electrification.” Aside from the usual charging station to be set up, there needs to be a special platform for the servicing of Kia EV6 to be added aside from that standard equipment being seen in the regular Kia dealerships.
“What we are putting up is a new ecosystem solely for the entry of the Kia EV6 here in the country,” according to Aligada. “There are lots to be considered when a dealership chooses to become part of the said ecosystem. Yes, it’s a little bit pricey but Kia Philippines is putting up part of the expenses.”
Aligada said that the Kia Philippines is getting a big boost from its mother company – the Ayala Group – especially in the setting up of infrastructure for the very important charging stations. “At this early, we have already 20 charging stations that were put up in various Ayala-owned venues where these Kia EV6s can go to.” And the Ayala Group’s vision of going zero-emission by 2030 is a big help too in enticing its own huge number of clients in going electric in the future.
With this, Kia Philippines has already shown its readiness in embracing the march to the EVs.