Everybody who was a somebody came to the grand inaugural of the twin showrooms of Global Star Motors, housed in a glass and steel palace on Nivel Hills, on the road that leads to the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
One showroom is dedicated to Mercedes-Benz, reflecting European luxury at its sleekest. The other showroom is for the Chrysler Group offering American premium vehicles from Chrysler itself to Dodge Ram and Jeep, which seems to be the most saleable.
At the forefront of Gold Star Motors and receiving the more than 500 guests that came to the celebration were its president Eduardo Onglatco with his wife Danessa; the chairman emeritus, Ambassador Francisco Benedicto; chair Augusto Go with his wife Elizabeth; vice president Kenneth Huan with his wife Lilian; and treasurer Barbara “Bambi” Gothong Tan with husband Dennis Tan.
Wolfgang Huppenbauer, CEO of Daimler for Southeast Asia, was here for the occasion. So was Michael Hasper, chief of mission at German Embassy in Manila. With him were Germany’s honorary consul in Cebu Dr. Franz Seidenschwarz and his wife Elizabeth.
The Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler Group vehicles come to Cebu through Manila-based Auto Nation Group, whose top executives were her for the event, led by Mr. and Ms Felix Ang, the president, and their son Frankie.
They were accompanied by Gregorio Yu, chair; chief finance officer Marissa Santos; VP for sales and marketing Robert Shaw; VP for after sales Rommel Santos; and CATS president Rene Nuñez.
Present to do the ribbon cutting were Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III with his wife Jobel, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Busy throughout the event, mostly answering queries about the stunning vehicles on display, were the dealer sales and marketing managers. For Mercedes-Benz it was Hans Lienaw accompanied by his wife Gilda; and for the Chrysler Group, Ritchell Selma.
Taking down orders if not making actual sales were Tirso Padilla, Jan Michael Villamor and Beatrice Boza for Mercedes-Benz; and for the Chrysler Group, Mark Barba, Angie Belonghilot, and Luis David Picornell with his wife Charmaine.
Among the VIPs were Tata Onglatco, mother of Edward; Candice Gotianuy, daughter of Augusto Go, and honorary consul of Norway; honorary consul of Portugal Sammy Chioson and his wife Emily, honorary consul of Israel and daughter of Ambassador Benedicto; and honorary consul of Romania Grand Benedicto with wife Genevieve.
Smiling radiantly were Joe and Rita Suaco, who on days previous had obtained two cars—a Mercedes-Benz (hers) and a state-of-the-art Jeep (his). They were back the following week to make some inquiries.
Jaja Rama from Bigseed was all over the place, her PR enterprise having been in charge of the event for which preparations began months ahead.
Glimpsed about: Derek Dytian, whose Creative Cuisine catered the simultaneous parties in both showrooms, each with a different menu; Joe Gapas with his lovely daughter Ching; Beling Go Ching Hai; Nonie Uy; Marguerite Lhuillier; and Mariquita Yeung with friends Nora Sol and Marilou Ong.
More: Leo Lim Liu, Edward Go Hayco, Gema Pido, Boy and Maia Franco, Celestino Martinez III, Hector Almario; Jiji Gullas, Angie Sierra; Miguel and Kay Larrauri, Wally and Paulette Liu; Prudencio Gesta and Tessie Chan from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Bobit Avila.
Standing out in the crowd was British gentleman Tommy Hart, introduced by Augusto Go as Daimler’s flying doctor. He goes around the world to cure, heal and keep Mercedes-Benz cars in the pink of health.
For Global Star Motors in Cebu does not just sell cars; it has a very sophisticated service center which is the first of its kind for Cebu patrons.