Avis PhilippinesStill trying Driving in the Philippines can be fun and adventurous; but being chauffeured is convenient and more practical for harder travellers on a tight schedule written by: Alan Swaby research by: Abi Abagun
Avis Philippines A collection of over 7,000 islands measuring a total length of around 1,500 kilometres, the Philippine archipelago covers a similar amount of the earth to Sweden. But while the latter has 165,000 kilometres of paved roads for a population of less than 10 million, the Philippines has just 40,000 kilometres of paved roads for a population of more than 90 million—a familiar situation in most developing nations. However, the Philippines offers some exciting tourist destinations that remain largely unexplored; likewise, the economy is poised to be one of the bright spots in a bearish world market. A challenge and opportunity indeed for G&S Transport Corporation (G&STC) which, since 1972, has operated the Philippine licence of Avis Rent A Car International. “For many years,” says Rafael V. Lucila Jr., the company’s president and CEO, “we operated as a conventional self-driven rent- a-car company. But over the years, greater affluence means more Filipinos are driving and the roads have just gotten busier and more crowded. For motorists, especially in Metro Manila, driving in the Philippines can be a daunting task, not to mention the difficulty of finding a parking space. Not surprisingly, therefore, 80 per cent of our business is now chauffeur-driven. For the less crowded regions, however, self-drive offers the opportunity to discover the countryside. Avis has rental locations in these favourite destinations, offering motorists the convenience of GPS navigation.”Avis operates the largest limousine fleet in the country It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for
AVIS Avis PhilippinesCATS MOTORS, INC.Renowned for providing only the best for Going green doesn’t mean sacrificing luxury,its clients, CATS Motors, Inc., the Philippine efficiency, technological advances or evenGeneral Distributor of Mercedes-Benz profit. The S 400 BlueHybrid is, in fact, a livingPassenger Cars, has partnered with Avis testament to that. Its low carbon emissionsPhilippines to provide Shangri-La’s five-star and fuel efficiency is actually a result of thehotels with the most luxurious limousine breakthrough use of lithium-ion as its battery.service of all—a fleet of Mercedes-Benz Since Avis Philippines has acquired theseS-Class sedans. units, it has been able to save up to 50 perThough the exclusive use of the S-Class isn’t cent on its previous fuel expenses, provinga new development for Shangri-La, the recent that going green isn’t just a smart choice foracquisition of S 400 BlueHybrid sedans is. the environment, but for business as well.That’s because the S 400 BlueHybrid sedans Sharing the same passion for sustainabledon’t just offer guests the exceptional comfort business management, Shangri-La hasof the world’s most luxurious sedan, but partnered with Avis to procure Mercedes-Benzthe seamless integration of breakthrough S 400 BlueHybrid sedans. With this businesstechnology and green innovations in one car. venture, Shangri-La’s limousine service is nowMercedes-Benz made international automotive the first hybrid limousinenews when it launched the S 400 BlueHybrid. fleet in the country.A luxurious S-Class, it takes luxury to the It’s this kind of passion for quality, serviceecological level. and innovative-thinking that brought togetherIt is the first to succeed in adapting a Shangri-La Hotels, Avis Philippines andlithium-ion battery in a passenger car. CATS Motors.Compared with its nickel-metal hydride It’s this kind of partnership that stands ascounterparts, it has higher ampere-hour a paradigm for successful and sustainableefficiency, longer service life and a vehicle business opportunities in the hope thatclimate control system that regulates others will follow suit.temperature ensuring optimal performance.The S 400 BlueHybrid consumes only www.mercedes-benz.com.ph7.9 litres of gas per 100 kilometres and has lowcarbon emissions of 190 grams per kilometrewhile still staying powerful at 299 horsepowerwith 375 newton metre torque, and fast at 0 to100 kilometres per hour in 7.3 seconds.Since the time of Al Gore’s award-winningdocumentary, An Inconvenient Truth, more andmore businesses are realising that going greenis the wave of the future. JULY 2012 | 2
Avis PhilippinesAvis. In the early years, beingthe first and foremost global Toyota Toyota ensures a great car experience for you and yourbrand in the country, Avis loved ones, with Toyota’s Sure Advantage: Quality,Philippines had a jumpstart Durability & Reliability, for more years of driving; Worry-on international inbound Free Maintenance, so you can go anytime, anywhere; Greattravel through Manila Value from financing options, uncompromising performanceInternational Airport. With to high resale value; and Pioneering Technologies that helpthe growing economy, more sustainability. We do all these, because we believe youplayers entered the car deserve nothing less.rental industry; and added www.toyota.com.phpressure came in the early1990s when the US scaleddown operations and shut two key militaryinstallations that provided bread and butterfor many sectors in the Philippine economy. Since then, Avis has taken a different tackand has increasingly targeted the corporatesector, without losing focus on leisure travel.For business clients who have touch pointsall over the Philippines, Avis offers transportsolutions that bring people to and fromairports and business destinations. Anyonestaying at the country’s five-star hotels isa potential customer and Lucila and histeam work hard to establish good relationswith the best hotels and the most importantbusinesses with offices in the country. “Atypical Avis customer,” he says, “will behere for two or three days, travel to a series 40,000 KM Total length of paved roads in the Philippines 80 per cent of Avis’ business is now chauffeur-driven
Avis Philippinesof business meetings and want to see thecity when the working day is over. Our aimis to give them the most enjoyable drivingexperience possible during their stay.” At the basis of Avis’ focus on excellenceare four action principles that G&STCworks hard to instil in its 400-plus driversand employees. “Primarily,” says Lucila,“we put care for our customers aboveeverything else. Next, we try to ensureattention to detail in every conceivablerespect. Then we want to get everythingright the first time and finally, we motivateour staff to go the extra mile to maintaina distinction between ourselves and everyother car rental company in the country. Weinvest in our people through our in-housetraining school and performance-basedcompensation system.” Avis executives receiving 40th anniversary recognition In essence, added Lucila, these principlesare the legacy of the founder, Domingo M. 1970 Philippine Constitution; and with great aspect of customer complaints acquisition, registration 400Guevara Sr., a self-made man and a foremost foresight he established G&STC in 1972 to is how genuine problems are and insurance to periodicFilipino entrepreneur. Starting as a young carry the Avis brand in the country. The dealt with notwithstanding servicing, scheduling andradio mechanic in the early 1930s, he DMG heritage lives in the 10 companies of the the nuisance and self-serving dispatch, chauffeur service,pioneered the all-Filipino manufacturing and Guevent Group under the flagship Guevent ones. Any feedback with real accident claim processingdistribution of affordable home appliances Investment Development Corporation. merit is a cause for concern, Approximate fleet and repairs, and vehicleunder the Radiowealth brand; and later, he Not surprisingly, when dealing with and steps must be taken size of G&STC disposal. Avis Philippines isventured into the assembly and manufacture corporate customers who are used to the to ensure it will not also the preferred transportof Volkswagen automobiles. DMG, as he was highest levels of pampering, Avis does get happen again. provider to internationalfondly called, was one of the framers of the complaints. Lucila believes the most important As well as self-drive and chauffeur driven and domestic special events that require cars, Avis Philippines offers worry-free, large numbers of various vehicles for a short “We motivate our staff to go the flexible leasing options of three months period of time shuttling participants around or more catering to customers’ specific with clockwork precision. extra mile to maintain a distinction requirements, such as projects and temporary Until now, by far the majority of business assignment of executives. Businesses can for Avis has been in-bound. But with a between ourselves and every other car outsource running their own fleet since Avis growing economy and more investment has a fleet management division covering in priority areas such as energy, mining, rental company in the country” the full spectrum of needs from vehicle communications, construction and
Avis Philippines Avis can take tourists past the end of the paved roads “In 2008 we opened a domestic When G&STC started operations in 1972, it had six cars and one station in the capital. Lucila is aware that the highest level of government is formulating the right policies 24/7 call centre which can now Today, the fleet stands at around 400 vehicles based in 16 strategic rental locations for development but implementation must be on fast-track through national and local handle all enquiries for both and a number of five-star hotel concessions throughout the country, many of them agencies to have significant impact on the ground. With a tourist-friendly people, a inbound and outgoing business” providing a round-the-clock service. Last few more roads would be more fun. In the year, revenue reached nearly US$8 million, meantime, Avis Philippines is ready to provideinfrastructure development, a growing with the rest of the world.” making it the leading rental company with a luxurious ride in a Mercedes Benz S-400 tosector of the population travel overseas, Such outbound business is still very small a 20 per cent share of the market. To mark take you on your next business appointment,needing car hire at the other end. “As part of but Avis Philippines is now well-placed to its 40th anniversary, G&STC introduced or in a Toyota SUV capable of taking touriststhe Avis group,” says Lucila, “we can satisfy take full advantage of any growth that the first hybrid limousine service in the past the end of the paved roads.their car hire needs, anywhere in the world. occurs. In the meantime, in line with the country. In 10 years’ time, coinciding with itsIn 2008 we opened a domestic 24/7 call government’s intention of encouraging 50th anniversary, Lucila wants Avis For more information aboutcentre which can now handle all enquiries greater development in other parts of the Philippines to be billing five times that Avis Philippines visit:for both inbound and outgoing business, country, Avis is looking actively for growth amount—more of it being generated by www.avis.com.phgiving us a more integrated connection outside Manila. activity out in the regions.