Korean industry beat that of the #Philippines by thinking big and going global

A homegrown industry can't gain traction if the local market doesn't support the product from the outset. Most Filipinos opt to purchase foreign vehicles as much for the prestige as for their reliability.

Then there is the fact that the quality of those vehicles you cited left a lot to be desired. Especially for a public that was looking for an automobile that could be used for comfortable city driving, not a bare bones utility vehicle. And, of course, one that could compare to American, European and Japanese cars.

South Korea followed the same path as the Philippine car industry at its inception. The first local vehicles they produced were modified military surplus and junked Willys Jeeps. During the 1960s and early 1970s, they moved into assembly and subcontracting for parts manufacturing.

By 1975, Hyundai would introduce the Pony, South Korea's first mass-produced car. This was a proper passenger car, not the low end, affordable 'Asian Utility Vehicle' the Philippines focused on. The Pony was a 1.2 L four door hatchback developed by a team of British engineers with diverse experience from the Land Rover to Jaguar to Ford.

In 1976, Hyundai began exporting the Pony to Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Egypt. This would last until 1988. By 1978 it would become the first Korean car to be sold in Europe. In 1982, they started selling in the United Kingdom. The Pony was also sold in Belgium, the Netherlands, and later exported to Greece.

The key difference is that South Korean strategists aimed for an export oriented business model, designed to compete with already established global brands. The Philippine automobile industry, on the other hand, focused on serving an insular niche market. Thinking small and parochial doesn't elevate you to the position of the world's fourth largest car manufacturer like Hyundai.

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