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Face shields and supercars

What he observed was, in the new normal, the cars that flew off the showroom floor were the ones in his high-end lineup. ‘A GTR, an Audi R8 performance Spyder, Porsche Carrera, Corvettes, Hummers, Escalades — all my high-end and rare cars are the ones that got sold quickly,’ Marc shared. ‘I think it is because the ones who have enough money started buying,’ he opined.

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HE turned part of his showroom floor into a makeshift face shield production area. Here he is holding up some of the shields he and his staff made. /Photographs by Xeres Guia for the daily tribune

If you are passing through P. Tuazon Boulevard in Cubao, Quezon City, it will be hard to miss this big showroom filled with cars. The whole property is surrounded by vehicles and it will surely have caught your eye as supercars and high-end premium cars beautifully lined up tend to catch attention. That big showroom is called MARCars Trading and it is owned by businessman and “car guy” Marc Martinez.

A red Evo, a white Lotus and a red Jaguar all find themselves in the MARCars showroom.

Marc first started driving when he was 11 years old and since then he has had a love for cars. His first car was a seventh grade graduation gift – a Honda Civic Hatchback – which he would set up using the reward monies his parents gave for doing well in school. “It got to a point that my dad asked me for a tawad because I had so many honors already,” Marc shared, talking about his dedication in school just to be able to purchase all the upgrades he wanted for his first car.

MARCars Trading has been in the car buy-and-sell business for 11 years but Marc has actually been selling cars since he was 13 years old. His father was also in the business and that was what got him interested, and also, where he first started. He became a salesman for his dad, earning P1,000 commission per car sold. The first car he bought on his own and then sold was a Nissan Sunny pickup.

FAITH, dedication, and a love for cars make Marc Martinez the perfect car salesman.

He bought the pickup at P12,500 and used about P10,000 in making it sellable. He then sold it for P45,000. “The buyer owned a water-refilling station and wherever that guy is, I thank him because he was my first sale,” Marc enthused. “After that, I got to buy a box-type Lancer which I sold for double the price and that was how I started,” he continued.

Fast-forward to two decades after, the 34-year-old car guy is not only selling quality cars but also supercars and high-end premium vehicles. Without using any sales talk and just relying on his business’ good reputation that he has slowly and carefully built, MARCars successfully grew. Then the pandemic hit.

“I thought the pandemic was going to last for a month then things will be back to normal,” Marc said. But when it did not seem like things were going back to normal anytime soon, he thought of doing something different — he learned to make face shields.

“My father-in-law who owns a hardware store taught me,” Marc shared. Half of his showroom floor was turned into a makeshift factory where he and his staff made the face shields that were then distributed to different hospitals and medical frontliners. “We at least got to help, even a little, during the pandemic,” Marc said. They made and donated face shields till the lockdown ended.

When they opened again, Marc would sell between two and four cars per month and would make just enough profit to cover operating expenses. “God was still so good because I never had zero sales, my staff and their families were happy, my family was happy, and by June or July, sales really started picking up,” he gleefully shared.

What he observed was, in the new normal, the cars that flew off the showroom floor were the ones in his high-end lineup. “A GTR, an Audi R8 performance Spyder, Porsche Carrera, Corvettes, Hummers, Escalades — all my high-end and rare cars are the ones that got sold quickly,” Marc shared. “I think it is because the ones who have enough money started buying,” he opined.

Throughout the whole pandemic, Marc’s prevailing thought was not about making money or selling a lot of cars. “My goal was to get through this pandemic without getting sick or without any of my staff and family getting sick,” he shared. In the new normal, this is most everyone’s priority, and armed with faith, a good heart, and business acumen culled from decades of experience, plus his reputation as a legitimate car guy and car salesman, Marc Martinez will surely achieve this goal and all his other ones for MARCars Trading.

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