by Hannah V. Obal
For a man who has been in the automotive industry near all his career, Lowell Belarmino forges on with his passion for the industry, taking bigger steps forward to ensure success for him and his company.
Currently the General Sales Manager for Peugeot/Autowelt Cebu, and General Manager of Gateway Motors Group, Belarmino started his career selling cars back in 1992, a time when he says the auto industry was a sector that was just beginning to be appealing as a job opportunity for fresh graduates.
“But when the Government opened up its People’s Car program in the Philippines, this breakthrough gave opportunities for investors to bring in cars with new designs and technologies, and of course, a lot of employment opportunities and new standards of Selling and Sales Volume Targets,” Belarmino explained.
He was just starting a family at the time and the income potential of selling cars back then was above that of a normal employee.
From there, Belarmino rose amongst the ranks, becoming Sales Manager for a slew of car brands.
With his current position and responsibility, Belarmino makes sure he is a strong leader, his experience. in the field and industry requiring him to always look at the bigger picture.
With his longevity in the industry, it comes as no surprise that things have changed.
“For the past 25 years at least, from 5 players in Cebu, we now have at least 15 dealers of brand new cars in the market.” Belarmino said.
With this in mind, Belarmino says Peugeot is bringing in advances in technology.
“For example, a couple of years back, we introduced the first Clutch-less Manual Transmission in the market, this feature needs to be explained and at first many find it ‘queer’. Now, many are looking for it.”
With the Cebuano market being more discerning, Belarmino says that the company is getting aggressive in being trendsetters in making car acquisition affordable, the company’s goal to become the most affordable and preferred European brand.
And when asked what his thoughts on the future of the industry was, Belarmino kept a positive and hopeful tone in his word.
“The Philippine car industry has been through tough times, surviving bad economy during a Dictatorial Regime, through bad economic policies, the ASEAN Crisis, the US Crisis, and survived. I am sure, it will survive future obstacles.”