Ford lady exec to take over reins of Kia distributor

The women are taking over the industry
by Vernon B. Sarne | Jan 19, 2011

\" women are gradually seizing control of the Philippine automotive industry. We\'ve just received news that a female executive of Ford Group Philippines has been pirated by Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in the country. The lady boss--who requested that her name be withheld for now--will take over the position to be vacated by outgoing CAC president and chief operating officer Felix Mabilog Jr. effective February 15.

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The incoming CAC chief joins a handful of lady bosses already doing wonders in the local car industry. These include, among others, Hyundai Asia Resources president Fe Agudo, Universal Motors Corporation (Nissan) senior vice president Elizabeth Lee, Asian Carmakers Corporation (BMW) marketing director Maricar Parco, and Chevrolet Philippines marketing director Lyn Buena. Lee is also the longtime president of the controversial Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, while Agudo is herself the president of CAMPI rival Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors.

CAC\'s next president last handled \"general marketing\" for FGP, which involved brand, product, retail and digital marketing. Prior to joining Ford, she had been with General Motors Automobiles Philippines and Toyota Shaw.

That she has spent much of her career with three prominent players in the car industry, only means she is bringing professionalism and marketing savvy into the CAC camp. Which should prove useful for the company as Kia aims to improve upon its Philippine sales growth in 2010. Last year, CAC sold a total of 5,566 Kia vehicles, a commendable 48-percent increase from 2009, when CAC moved just 3,761 units, according to official figures provided by CAMPI.

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Mabilog is finally being allowed to retire after several requests in the past, a company source said, adding that the legendarily mercurial executive will likely stay with CAC as a consultant. Jim Alvarez, son of CAC principal Pepito Alvarez, had been widely expected to take over, but people close to the company say he is content to just manage two Kia dealerships.

If we may offer our unsolicited advice this early, CAC\'s incoming lady boss needs to review their pricing policy to make Kia\'s much-improved models more accessible to Filipino car buyers. If she can do this, the sky is the limit for a Korean brand that--like affiliate Hyundai--has been on the upswing in recent years.

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