Fast tips for scoring funky decent rides-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
SUCH lingo bred in the new millennium won’t probably be what you would hear from this guy’s mouth. Well no, he’s not exactly that old. But he’s been in the business for decades already—and this guy knows what he loves.
Franklyn Ong loves his cars. Whatever words or ways one wants to put it, the fact won’t change that this guy is pretty much an expert already when it comes to the local automotive industry.
Back in the early ‘80s he, along with his friends, started a car repair shop in Cebu. His passion for cars started back in Manila, when he recalled hanging out in a spot just to look at the cool cars back in the day.
“My friends and I would hang out in Greenhills during the weekend, just to check out the nice cars and how they were set-up. During the ‘80s, there weren’t really much car brands around—obviously that’s not the case now.”
Franklyn is the president and chief executive officer of the Pamocor Group of Companies. It handles brands like Pasajero Motors (the company responsible for coming up with their own line of jeepneys and other types of transportation); it also distributes trucks and construction equipments from Hino and Caterpillar; motor oils and lubricants for Shell here in Cebu; and the energy drink Barako Bull.
“I practice variety as a businessman,” Franklyn joked about how the company got involved with the beverage. And lastly, Pamocor is in charge of distributing car brands Volvo and Chevrolet here in Cebu. As mentioned, the business traces its humble roots from way back during the ‘80s, as a simple car repair shop.
“The shop was called Cebu Auto Classique and was located along Mabini St. We were one of the pioneers in assembling Asian Utility Vehicles.”
“When Benigno Aquino was assassinated, there was a crisis in the automotive industry as the dollar depreciated; brands started to pull out until there were only about a couple left of automobile brands that stayed here in the country,” Franklyn recalled a piece of history.
“We were local automobile assemblers, using surplus engines and undercarriages from Japan. So the company went into the buy-and-sell practice—also doing repairs.”
When Pasajero was born in 1991, its “Jeepney” made in Cebu, received multiple awards and recognition from the government and prestigious transport organizations.
Despite the many accomplishments, Franklyn stays cool, focused and down-to-earth. He refuses to call out a number when it comes to his cars, although what he admits is that he is no longer the speed junkie he used to be.
“I’m older now. I have a family, some priorities—safety comes first,” he replied with a laugh. He shared that he is still very much into cars these days, but more for their aesthetic value.
The man cared to share his thoughts about what he thinks are essential tips for Cebuanos when buying their own car (a first one, specifically).
Research well. “There’s a joke back in the day,” Franklyn shared. “That a Cebuano takes more time in looking for a car than for a wife.” He continued with an opinion that in the Philippines, people purchase their car out of love, wanting to be with them for a very long time. In contrast to some countries abroad when people would purchase a vehicle just for the mere need of transportation. “Research, learn more what you can get most out of your budget.”
Identify needs. For Franklyn, people who are about to purchase cars should know what they really need. He said that if one is planning to stay single for awhile and wants to drive a more sporty-looking car, then he should pick a two-door option. But if one is considering taking a family along for a drive, then a four-door is a more logical choice. Another thing to check would be fuel-consumption. “What do we do? We pay thousands of pesos for a car, then just fill the tank up with 50 pesos worth of gas a day,” kidded the chief executive officer.
Consider aftersales. How long will the warranty be? What would be the projected cost for maintenance? These are some of the questions Franklyn challenges people who are out to get their first car to ask themselves. “Maintenance is very important,” he said. Proudly he shared, that according to a survey done by JD Power Asia Pacific, Chevrolet ranked highest two years in a row (2011, 2012) obtaining a high score for service quality.
“Cebuanos are smart and intelligent buyers,” he said, believing that the market here shouldn’t have major problems when getting their first car. Although it still pays to be well-informed and heart-break free.
This here after all, getting a new car in the Philippines, is a romantic affair.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 06, 2013.