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It looks like Astara will take over GAC in PH market

It seems the whispers we’ve been hearing have been confirmed by this invite

We've been waiting for the official arrival of the GAC Empow since this year's MIAS. PHOTO FROM SAM SURLA

If the name Astara sounds familiar, that’s because it is the new distributor of the French carmaker Peugeot in our market. And now, it looks like the aggressive international car distributor—with presence on three continents and in 17 countries as you read this—is poised to launch another brand under its umbrella.

You see, we’ve been hearing rumors that the Chinese car brand GAC will move to another management team, and that said team will be Astara. We’ve refused to report this as our sources are not willing to go on record.

But then, today, we received the following invite from Astara Philippines:

So, it looks like the year 2023 promises to be exciting. GRAPHIC FROM ASTARA PHILIPPINES

The e-mail reads:

Astara Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Peugeot in the Philippines, will hold a special and exclusive event on January 10, 2023. We’d appreciate if you could save the date in your calendar for now. More details will be sent closer to the date of this event.

Our gut feel is that Astara will formally announce its takeover of the GAC brand in the Philippines. This could explain the weird silence of GAC after having flaunted the Empow and the GS8 at the 2022 Manila International Auto Show back in April.

Well, this validates that consolidation is the name of the game in the car business right now. Astara also distributes GAC in two Latin American countries, Chile and Peru.

Let’s see if the partnership will work in our market.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.