A top executive of leading car company Isuzu Philippines Corp. made an encouraging assessment of the steadily rising auto market in Iloilo.

“The Iloilo market is better than average – it is not really growing but steady,” said Myrna Gonzales, assistant division manager for marketing and sales department of Isuzu.

“Basing from the behavior of customers here, they have been trying out new products and that’s a nice market. Thus, we are addressing the demands they expect,” Gonzales stressed.

She noted the first Isuzu branch in Iloilo is the 20th Isuzu Dealership, the latest addition after a 10-year existence in the local automotive industry, marking Isuzu’s diesel authority.

Why Iloilo?

“We have studied the market and determined the fast-growing areas,” Gonzales explained. “Iloilo is very promising as the customer base is growing for the past ten years. Both the economic and response here are improving and getting better all the time.”

“Before, it was a small and not a full-blown dealership. But it was realized because of the high acceptance of people. I think Ilonggos are particular with buying vehicles that are multi-purpose for their families, business and outings,” she said.

Gonzales added that “the OFWs want spacious and fuel-efficient vehicle – they don’t want to waste but save their money for vehicle that suits their needs and the product that perfectly fit – they choose Isuzu.”

Though, she said that last year’s sales were going down, thus a lot of promos were offered to boost product promotions.

“Surprisingly, this year, we are enjoying brisk sales in the automotive market. In general outlook, next year will be better,” Gonzales said.

She said the 2003-2005 period “was unpredictable—it’s a very different market, you don’t know what happens next.”

“For next years, we are feeling a level of stability in growth—we are on the bullish side—we share the sentiments of the business sector,” Gonzales asserted.

“There are opportunities to take advantage like new businesses, investments and areas being developed. The impact of call centers, for one, is a very good opportunity for growth. There is prevailing and good improvement in the market. The constant growth is very positive,” she pointed out.

Likewise, Gonzales said they want to promote the preventive maintenance services.

“Once they buy their Isuzu, it doesn’t end there. We would like to take care and make sure that their Isuzu are well taken care of. We should assure that the vehicle is on top condition. We encourage the customers to go back to their dealership,” she said.

This story first appeared in The Guardian Iloilo Sept. 20, 2007