Subaru’s presence in the ASEAN region has become almost synonymous with world-famous stunt driver Russ Swift. He holds three Guinness World Records: Parallel parking in the tightest space, J Turn in the tightest space, and the fastest donuts. He has performed for various car brands and TV commercials wherein his stunts and precision driving attracted viewers all over the world. Of all the brands he has performed for, Subaru is probably the brand that is always on top of people’s minds, especially since he performs annually at the Manila International Auto Show. His first-ever trip to Davao was also courtesy of Subaru, aiming to showcase the advantages of a Subaru through his iconic stunts. This made us wonder, for all these years, why does he willingly choose to represent and perform for Subaru?
His story with Subaru started in 2002, when he was brought in to the Singapore Motor Show by Glenn Tan, now the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International Ltd., the parent company of Motor Image. He performed various stunts to Singaporeans during the show, but along with his relationship with Motor Image, he was also freelancing with other brands.
Back in 2006, Russ Swift was invited by a certain manufacturer, of whom he did not want to disclose, to perform at the first-ever Manila International Auto Show. Russ sent a list to the manufacturer regarding the preparations and modifications needed to be done to the car in order for him to do his stunts. This involved the cars having a hand brake (foot parking brakes were starting to gain popularity during those days) and a locking differential. However, these preparations were not fulfilled by the manufacturer, leaving him helpless and unable to perform for the show.
Fortunately for him, he was attended by one of the staff in charge of media for Motor Image Pilipinas, the official distributor of Subaru in the Philippines. This Motor Image staff contacted Glenn Tan as he was about to go to the airport. Eventually, Glenn Tan decided to miss his flight and asked Russ Swift how he could help. Russ relayed to the Motor Image team his usual requests, and the following day, the technicians from Motor Image brought all the stuff he needed, including a set of differentials in order for him to do his stunts. Of course, the following day, he also performed his famous stunts using Subarus.
Since then, Motor Image has grown its presence not just in the Philippines, but with the rest of the Asia Pacific region. This has also led Russ to perform for Subaru in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the rest of Asia. As a result, Russ has become synonymous with Subaru across the Asian region, highlighting the advantages of a Subaru which lets him perform his famous stunts.
This is why relationships are very important, not just in the automotive industry, but with the way we interact with people as a whole. It’s one way to treat people as mere tools meant to do their jobs, and another to treat people as if they are a friend. Treat partners and colleagues as friends, not just as a one-way ticket to get ahead of life.
Want to see him perform? It’ll be the Cebuanos turn soon as Russ Swift will surely burn some rubber at the next round of the Subaru Ultimate Test Drive Year 2, which is on August 31 to September 1 at SM City Cebu, North Open Parking 2. Be one of the first to pre-register here and win exclusive prizes to be given when you test drive one of the latest Subaru models on site.