Text and photos by Dino Ray V. Directo III
After months of waiting for their precious metals, the King of the Ring has finally been turned over to its lucky owners. In a festive ceremony held at the Honda Manila Bay dealership, Honda Cars Philippines Incorporated (HCPI) formally turned over seven units of the iconic Civic Type R to its lucky owners.
The seven units represented the seven Ayala owned Honda dealerships representing Makati (Magallanes and Greenbelt); Alabang, Pasig, Shaw, Bonifacio Global City and its newest and most modern dealership, Honda Manila Bay whose General Manager Leo Dolendo is an old hand in the industry.
Arthur Tan, Senior Managing Director of Ayala Corporation and concurrent Volkswagen Ph CEO, led the turn over ceremonies, with other Ayala and HCPI executives led by Manny Aligada, Deputy CEO of Ayala Automotive Holdings and President of Honda Cars Makati; Leo Dolendo, GM of Honda Cars Manila Bay. Noriyuki Takakura, President and GM of HCPI was the guest of honor. “The Type R is an everyday sports car. You can use it everyday by pressing the comfort mode, and when you race it on weekends, just push the sports mode button and its transform into a track monster,” says Tan, who is a Type R owner himself.
Carlo Raymundo Directo or “Direk Olrac” to his close associates is an advertising executive and owning a Type R has always been his dream. “I have waited for this moment for a long time. I have to pinch myself twice to believe that this is really happening,” he says.
Both Tan and Takakura stated that owning a Type R is worry free because Honda has assured the availability of parts and accessories for the Civic Type R. “All Honda dealerships have received proper training to service the Type R. Owners can go to any Honda dealer nationwide for servicing,” adds Takakura.
After receiving a personalized plaque and a customized all-weather car cover for their Type R’s, the owners held a ceremonial drive by around the area and in front of the Honda Manila Bay dealership. Plans are also in the pipeline for Honda to stage a track day for the Type R owners by the first quarter of next year.
The Civic Type R has taken the World by a storm with its innovative technology, and performance. It has been earning accolades and awards since its launch this year. It is powered by a 2.0 liter in-line four that funnels 306 bhp down to its front wheels by way of a manual six-speed gearbox. HCPI brought in a limited number of Type R’s in the country and 100 lucky owners celebrated an early Christmas.
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