AutoIndustriya turns 21

HOMEGROWN automotive portal marks 21 years of “bringing the latest auto news and reviews to Filipinos online.” went live on Sept. 25, 2000, founded by two young automotive enthusiasts: Brent Co and Benjamin Ngo. Online media were still quite new at the time in the Philippines, but quickly became a leading forum for car enthusiasts and motorists. Through the years, the company transformed into a portal for the latest happenings in the Philippine auto industry — a source of automobile reviews of the cars in the market, and award-winning opinions on motoring trends and issues.

“Back when we started, people didn’t know us… actually, many didn’t even go online yet and there was no mobile data,” said Mr. Co. “But we kept working on it and introduced ourselves to a very traditionalist auto industry culture. We didn’t have social media back then; we did it with a smiley, a handshake, and a business card.”

Initially, was composed of a handful of friends that liked cars and wanted to be around cars, but eventually the team started to grow and take on new ambitious challenges. In 2009, Vince Pornelos joined the team and helped to revamp objectives to present Filipino readers with honest reviews of the latest cars in showrooms.

“We had doubts about our new style when I came on board. Many top executives were used to friendly vehicle test-drive articles in the Philippines, but we wanted to change that,” said Mr. Pornelos. “Today, our reviews are respected in the industry and by consumers because we say what we really think and give our true impressions of what a car is like behind the wheel.”

In 2013, Mr. Co handed off the reins as editor-in-chief to Mr. Pornelos, himself already a veteran of the motoring media. The team has also grown from a small group of friends to a much larger team comprised of editors, writers, contributors, photographers, and videographers. The only requirement is simple: Have a passion for cars that comes out with every article, every photograph, and every video online.

Messrs. Co, Ngo, and Pornelos then went to take to where it is now as the leading homegrown and fully Filipino-owned automotive website with a strong presence on all major social media portals such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on YouTube.

“Times have indeed changed, but our mission stays the same,” maintained Mr. Co. “We will always strive to publish concise auto news together with frank and honest automotive reviews because we believe the Filipino consumer deserves to know.”

As a treat for readers and viewers, has released a Viber sticker set to commemorate the special milestone. It can be downloaded for free through the QR code.