#PIMS2022: Rating Each Brand's Display at the 8th PIMS

Mikko · Sep 20, 2022 04:00 PM

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To say that the 8th Philippine International Motor Show was a success is an understatement. Its return is the culmination of four years of preparation and cooperation among auto industry players. Countless hours dedicated by each brand's hardworking staff made sure they could maximize their exposure at this biennial event. And for that, we tip our hats off to the industry.

An oft-underrated aspect of each PIMS is the look and layout of each car company participant booth.

After all, there has to be some logic to entice foot traffic at a formal car show like PIMS - with the endgame being customer test drives and nameplate sales. This includes what models were brought by a particular marque, how they are placed at a booth, an underlying theme (if they have one), additional elements (like refreshments, giveaways, and activities), and how light and sound blend in or stick out.

That said, this poster decided to dole out grades per automaker booth at the 2022 PIMS, sort of like how the Twitter account called Room Rater ( @ratemyskyperoom ) takes on online interviewees and their respective backgrounds.

BMW

The Bavarian automaker's booth was an entire love-hate affair.

You will love the booth if you're a BMW fan, a fan of luxury cars in general, or the fact that they brought in the iX all-electric utility vehicle and an M5 performance saloon.

But that's just about it. The booth layout seemed like the iX, and M5 weren't the highlights, having been placed beside two of the booth's walls instead of at the forefront. Not helping matters too was tight spaces between display cars and a 2 that looked like the Joker's personal Bimmer (due to the purple color). 5/10

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Chery

As one of the three new members of CAMPI, this poster was looking forward to the Chinese automaker bringing samples of its entire sport utility vehicle lineup (Tiggo 2, Tiggo 5, Tiggo 7, Tiggo 8), similar to its booth at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) earlier in the year. Sadly, Chery seemed handcuffed to small real estate at PIMS, and it showed. Only the flagship Tiggo 8 variants were on display, including a recently unveiled Tiggo 8 Pro turbocharged 2.0-liter straight four all-wheel-drive version. Not even the presence of the Chery Tiggo Crossover volleyball team could dig them out of their PIMS booth layout predicament. 4/10

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Chery Philippines' volleyballers were on hand to meet the crowd.

Foton

The Chinese light and heavy-duty hauler transport specialist brought out many of its big guns, figuratively (the Thunder pickup and Transvan people carrier, for instance) and literally (the EST-A cab-over-engine truck). Foton even had a booth layout consisting of two parallel columns of vehicles at the edges, with the middle space seating for customers and sales folk. The aforementioned Thunder even had a setup that showed its potential as a camping vehicle. Plus, they had an ice cream section at its left column, sandwiched between a Tornado six-wheeler and a Harabas TR300 light duty open bed four-wheeler. The sad part? Little foot traffic was present at the booth. But for those looking for mobility options for their business, they would have been one of the preferred stops. 5/10

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Geely

Another automaker that had a big booth at MIAS earlier in 2022 (and a display of nearly every nameplate in its roster) was limited to just three brands at PIMS. Its late inclusion into the roster of CAMPI did not help, but it was a welcome sight to see another up and coming Chinese brand gives it their all. 

Interestingly, the car company had one of two booths with significantly elevated real estate parts. Sadly, that didn't amount to much, as only the Geely top brass seemed to take advantage of that booth feature. Not even good lighting (enhanced by white walls and floors) could overcome the shortcomings of Geely's compacted stage presence. 5/10

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Honda

The phrase, "Man maximum, Machine minimum" was the design ethos for most of its cars.

That could also be found at the Japanese carmaker's 2022 PIMS booth. One instantly knew that Honda was pushing the 2023 HR-V RS Turbo and the 2023 BR-V utility runners when eyeballs veered towards the booth. The aforementioned Honda brands were on slightly raised platforms, making it easier to discern what was new and most recent. Combine that with solid lighting, white walls and floors, wide spacing between nameplates, a Honda-backed aftermarket section, free coffee, and many seating opportunities, and you have a booth that was worthy of its prime real estate at the World Trade Center.

Probably the only downer (at least to this poster) was a tree that looked out of place. Sitting atop a faux city park round bench behind the Civic RS compact car, one can surmise that Honda also wanted to emphasize nature friendliness with the arboreal attempt. However, the tree looked like it was plucked out of Minas Tirith, seemingly dry despite its leaves.

Regardless, the overall output that Honda put in for PIMS 2022 resulted in a lot of foot traffic at their booth and a high grade. 8/10

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Hyundai

A third automaker handcuffed by limited space at PIMS 2022, the folk from South Korea did make the most out of the small real estate.

The unveiling of the IONIQ 5 all-electric car helped immensely negate the cramped area. Also, the silver color of the IONIQ 5, the white colorway of the Creta subcompact sport-ute beside it, white walls and floors, and free coffee helped alleviate the space issues. This poster would have liked to see the Staria, Santa Fe, and Tucson, but the land area, man, the land area. 6/10

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Isuzu

The booth from the noted Japanese diesel engine stalwart took the approach of "the products will sell themselves."

Meaning, that they just put out choice nameplates at the forefront of the booth, with no standees depicting what were the unique selling points of the five Isuzu brands present (the NLR public utility jeep, N Series truck, D-Max double cab pickup, mu-X midsize sport utility vehicle, N Series Smoother truck), and tight spaces between them.

But there was an approach to the Isuzu booth, mind you. The vehicles were arranged in a fanlike manner, with a red D-Max as the centerpiece and the rest of the vehicles in white. What was confusing, though, was that only the D-Max and mu-X had branding of any sort (large white letters on the ground, spelling out D – M A X and m u – X, respectively).

The Isuzu booth also had the misfortune of being beside the cacophony of distraction that was the Nissan booth. The Japanese light commercial-heavy duty commercial vehicle industry veteran provided more than ample seating for foot traffic, plus offered free ice cream. Enjoying the refreshment at the booth was more an exercise in noise endurance than nigh-on euphoria, all because of Isuzu's extra lively PIMS 2022 neighbor to its left. 7/10

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Kia

Even with a small PIMS 2022 area, the other South Korean marque made the most out of the circumstances – and even enforced a theme of roadgoing.

The Ayala conglomerate-backed manufacturer had non-electric display units (the Carnival passenger van, the Soluto subcompact sedan, the Sorento midsize sport-ute, and the Stonic subcompact utility runner) arranged in a half rotunda, and all of them in white, with black-and-white arches to label each four-wheeler. This layout supposedly encircled the debuting EV6 all-electric compact crossover utility vehicle, which was clad in what seemed to be a matte silver colorway. Speaking of the EV6, Kia was thoughtful enough to provide a touchscreen TV on the car's right to provide easy-to-understand information to attendees about the unit. Combine all of these with decent lighting at the booth, and you have a good PIMS 2022 example of doing the best output amidst circumstances. 7/10

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Mazda

Mazda applied the three-floor approach it first presented during the last pre-pandemic PIMS, but with a distinctly PIMS 2022 signature.

Each floor of Mazda's booth had telltale elements that showed consistency. The ground floor had hybrid vehicles clad in white (a Mazda 3 hatch and a CX-30 subcompact sport-ute). The first floor had two vehicles in red on the flanks: a turbo CX-5 all-wheel-drive and a facelifted CX-8 midsize crossover sport utility vehicle. At the top were two utility runners in gray or dark gray - a BT-50 Pangolin pickup (albeit a concept edition) and a CX-9 sport-ute. At the center of the first floor was the newly launched MX-5 Miata Club Philippines (MCP) 25th Anniversary roadster, with seemingly obvious stronger lighting than the other Mazdas exhibited. Each floor had glass dividers and black or white carpeting, steel railings, and steel-lined stairs. From the entrances of the World Trade Center (particularly if you were standing at the edge of the Foton booth), you could see what was going on at the Mazda booth, with the aforementioned MX-5 smack dab in the center of the first floor. When your head is upright, and your eyes are level, that MX-5 is all you see at first – and the sight of a performance auto piques your attention.

Mazda's attention to detail got crowds to go to their booth despite being sandwiched between two of the consistent local automotive sales toppers (Toyota and Mitsubishi) at PIMS 2022. One has to give Mazda kudos for that level of effort. 10/10

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Mitsubishi

The Japanese Diamond Star packed its booth with nameplates, refreshments, seating opportunities, souvenirs, and even car show models. Amazingly, people could move about the booth, much less enjoy the free coffee or gawk at the Strada Ralliart "rally concept" pickup. One surmises that the thick, constant flow of foot traffic in and around the booth is a testament to how Filipinos think that anything from an established, quick-name recall company is a swinging act.

What was sad was that the Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle's (PHEV's) booth within a booth was relegated to an afterthought. Mind you; there was detailed "explain like I'm five" information about the benefits of a PHEV and the Outlander in that area. But few Mitsubishi booth attendees paid attention to the four-wheeler. 6/10

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Nissan

Nissan's PIMS 2022 booth could be summed up as "full of sound and fury, signifying something."

The Japanese manufacturer packed the booth with nameplates, emphasizing its newly launched Livina compact multipurpose vehicle. The aforementioned brand was on an elevated platform, with two units (one in red, one in white) for viewing.

The odd part about that was despite the unveiling of the Livina; more foot traffic went to either the long-in-the-tooth GT-R supercar, the all-electric Kicks sport-ute, or even the Leaf all-electric passenger car.

Sound was a big part and parcel of the Nissan booth. The hourly audio-visual presentations with bass thumps could be heard and felt, even some 150 meters away at the Mazda and Kia booths. Those cacophonies of automotive carnival barking were strong enough to keep attendees at other booths from speaking clearly, which irritated many. Sure, every car company needs heads to turn, necks to crane, eyeballs to swing, and feet to sprint to their respective booths. But Nissan's approach to PIMS 2022 pushed the boundaries between getting deaf and getting a good deal on an auto. 4/10

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Suzuki

This was the basketball equivalent of "everything but the shot."

This was because the Japanese small car specialist had nearly every item for a good booth lined up in its favor – intense lighting, white floor and walls, a debuting vehicle that had hybrid technology (the Suzuki Ertiga), and activities to keep people interested in the marque (such as some parlor games and Suzuki's kiddie "Road Safety Scouts"), nearly its entire roster present, and prime placement at the World Trade Center.

The odd part was that foot traffic at the booth wasn't exactly in the multitudes.

Was it the layout of the vehicles present? Suzuki had two columns of four-wheelers at the edges of the booth (with wide spaces between nameplates) and a broad area where booth attendees could sit and discuss Suzuki vehicle purchases. The off-putting part, at least according to this poster, was the location of the Ertiga Hybrid. The unit was off center to the left instead of being in the booth's center. Perhaps this was because the tall standees showing the pros of hybrid motor use couldn't be moved to the booth center, but that could be remedied with a touchscreen monitor beside the people carrier to show how Suzuki's version of a hybrid powertrain works.

For several pre-pandemic PIMS events, the Laguna-based automaker always had booths with attention-getting setups and was always packed with people. This PIMS was just the opposite, and it's head-scratching. 6/10

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Toyota

The booth from the consistent topper of local overall automotive sales charts also took the approach of "let the products sell themselves."

Meaning that they just put out choice nameplates at their booth with the firm faith that foot traffic will come in droves because they came from Toyota. The formula that worked for the automotive giant during pre-pandemic PIMS also worked during PIMS 2022. The crowds at the booth were rivaling its immediate neighbor at the car show (Mazda) and the consistent second placer in local overall automotive sales charts (Mitsubishi).

However, some items of note at the booth weren't exactly positive. For starters, Toyota could have gone with a consistent all-white exterior color lineup for their display units. Instead, the RAV4 sport-ute and GR86 coupe were in varying shades of red or auburn (depending on who you ask), and the rest of the exhibited lineup was white.

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Another example was the occasional audio-visual presentation. It depicted the LiteAce utility hauler, which was recently launched but was not present in the display area.

Overall, the booth from the Japanese automotive behemoth had a clean layout, but some aspects raised eyebrows. 7/10

We can't wait for the next edition of PIMS to return. With two years of preparation ahead, expect each brand to come up with new concepts and executions that will draw in crowds to their products and establish an identity that will resonate among car buyers in the years to come. 

Are you excited for the next PIMS to get going?

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