BPI Family Savings Bank said its recent car festival boosted activity in the the auto industry, which may be at risk due to the economic crunch. The Ayala-led bank recently held its first Nationwide Auto Madness where it brought together various brands and models in key cities to make car buying more convenient to consumers. "The timing was perfect given the present economic slowdown," said David Sarmiento, BPI Family Bank senior vice president for auto and motorcycle loans.Sarmiento said the bank provided some "sort of a stimulus package" to the auto industry, similar to the impact it had when the Auto Madness campaign was initiated in Cebu City following the 1997 Asian financial crisis.This year's Auto Madness, which ran from March 12 to 15, generated more applications and a higher approval rate for car loans, Sarmiento said. Auto Madness featured at least 20 different carmakers but Sarmiento said the top picks of Filipino buyers during the event were Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi.While the first Nationwide Auto Madness was just concluded, Sarmiento said BPI Family Bank will soon start planning for its next car festival. Future Auto Madness events may be more specific in terms of the car offerings to address the needs of more discerning consumers. "We can have an auto madness event for fuel efficient vehicles only or we can arrange the cars on display according to category. This will make it more convenient for car buyers to choose cars according to their needs," Sarmiento said. He added that future auto madness events may also include motorcycles, which are becoming more popular among Filipinos."We can introduce our motorcycle loan product and also have some displays of the four major motorcycle brands. This way, our auto madness will become relevant to more people," Sarmiento said.