Category Archives: Cars, Car Dealers and Car Service

Motores Japoneses

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Click to Enlarge

P1030361I stopped by Motores Japoneses yesterday in Plaza Felipe Rodriguez specifically to look at a new line of cars that they are carrying.

Motores Japoneses is the selling arm of Suzuki in Panama. A few months ago they started selling the Great Wall and JAC products from China.

I spent the last few days researching the Great Wall on the Internet. This is a company that is on the move and they are putting money into their products to make them a world product.

While Motores Japoneses sells the vehicles, Felipe Rodiguez does the service in David and provides the showroom.

P1030366My focus on this visit was to take a look at the Chinese products, but I did take this photo of a new Suzuki that had just come in. Motores Japoneses carries a large selection of the Suzuki models.




Following are photos of the Great Wall pickup. The pickup has an Isuzu motor.


Here are some photos of the Great Wall Haval H5 SUV.


The Haval H5 uses a Mitsubishi Diesel engine. I was pretty impressed with the interior. It has an all leather and all the bells and whistles. The radio even had bluetooth to connect with your phone.

Here is a photo of the JAC car. The interior was also impressive on this car.


Here is the Great Wall Panama dealer website.

Here is the Panama JAC website.

Here is a review of the H5 in 2012. While it doesn’t get an outstanding review, it does get a respectable review.

The Chinese seem to be where the Japanese were 40 years ago and the Koreans were 20 years ago. The Chinese have proven they can build quality products,

I have seen Chinese cars and pickups being driven in David before, but this is the first time I have seen them in an actual dealership.



If you drop in, tell Alexander that you learned about him on Chiriquí Chatter.

A Small Amount of Time At the David Fair

I bet you thought I would never get around to posting the time I spent at the David Fair last March 15th, 2013.

I really wasn’t certain if I would make it to the fair this year or not. I almost cooked last year and I told myself I would never go to the fair before 5pm the next time if I went.

While I was still wondering what I would do this year, I received an Invitation to attend an inaugural event for Petroautos. It was going to be at 7pm and have food catered by Cuatro. Sounded like a plan to me.

We arrived around 6:15 and entered the fair. Since the event wasn’t scheduled until 7PM, I had time to spend walking around and taking photos.

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Click to enlarge

I was passing the Toyota exhibit and it looked like they were going to uncover a car, I assumed it was a new model. Maybe I would have time to drop by later. I did have time to take a couple photos of some lovely Toyota ladies. Continue reading A Small Amount of Time At the David Fair

AutoStar – David

I have meant to post this for several months and am just now getting to it.

DSC00797AutoStar is the dealer servicing Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Dodge Ram, Chrysler and Jeep. They have dealerships in David, Chitre, and Panama City. Formally Most of these brands were under Grupo-Q.

Mazda, who was also under Grupo-Q, is supposed to now be with Grupo Silaba, which is the Kia dealer.

A Chiriquí Chatter reader had notified me of their location on Ave. Miguel Brenes, not far from the light on the InterAmerican Highway on the left East side of the road.

Here are a couple photos inside the showroom.


I spoke with the Manager and his card follows. If you stop in, tell him you learned about them on Chiriquí Chatter. The company website can be found HERE.


A Good Mechanic

I have had a recent problem with the Daihatsu Terios that I usually drive. In the last month it decided to start discharging the battery. I charged it once and when it was down a week later, I knew I had a problem.

A friend recently recommended a young mechanic that lives in Algarrobos. I was told that he was good, that he was very reliable and that he was very honest. I know from past experience it is easy to get over charged when you don’t know exactly what problem you have.

Remembering the recent recommendation, I called him and asked if he could look at the car.

He has a day job, but works at his house during his off hours. He came by and looked at the car. He listed one or two things it might be, but would need a little time to diagnose it.

I left it with him at his house. Last Thursday he called and said he had corrected the problem, but that I had two belts that were cracked and needed replacing. On a nine year old car that wasn’t surprising. Continue reading A Good Mechanic

Taller Salvador Re-Visited

Yesterday, I went to Taller Salvador to have some tailpipe repair done. The little Terios I drive started sounding like a semi on Wednesday. Part of the exhaust system had separated from the muffler and the end of the tailpipe behind the muffler had started to decompose.

This requited removing two different pieces of the tail pipe and forming two new pieces.

There was two other vehicles ahead of me when I arrived. I sat down and had a long conversation with a local taxi driver (Joel). This is one of the benefits of learning at least a little conversational Spanish. You can converse with more locals.

Joel was a very interesting person. He had been driving a taxi in David for the last 9 years, but he said in April, he was quitting and moving to Panama City to work as a truck driver for the new subway construction.

He said that the life of a Taxi driver in David had gotten too tough. Too many taxis. I agree. You drive down town and there are 5 taxis for every non-taxi, it seems to me.

By the way, I asked him the normal fee from the airport to a hotel and he said it is $3.00/person, so if your airport taxi is asking for more, he is giving himself a tip.

Joel did brag on Taller Salvador. He said there are at least three shops that do this sort of work in David, but he said Salvador is the best. We talked for at least an hour. and I had a great time.

While I was waiting, I also met two individuals from the Lost and Found Lodge. Who know, maybe I will up their way and take some photos one of these days.

I didn’t take any photos this time of the work being done, but you can see some of my photos when I was at Salvador’s in 2009. Based on the old photos, I got a lot more tailpipe for $22 in 2009. This time I got two sections of about 18 inched each for $22. Actual time to fix the car after he started was less than 30 minutes.

DSC00694I did get a photo showing that this is a real mechanic’s workshop. Obviously they are overworked because they haven’t had time to get a 2013 calendar. Continue reading Taller Salvador Re-Visited

Auto Glass Panama

I received the following request for posting.

Hello Don,

My name is Ashton Davies, I’m a young British guy, who has been living in Panama for almost five years. I have recently opened a windsheild repair company here in Panama City, called “Auto Glass Panama“. I used to live in Chiriqui and know that this service doesnt exist there I will be coming to Chiriqui to visit friends and family, I will be there from the 25th to the 27th. I am going to be working in David these dates. I can repair cracks and chips to windshields, the cost averages normally around 35-45 dollars and takes around 40 muinutes so it will ideal for expats that are just goin to David to do some running around in the shops as I can do the repair roadside, while they are in the super. I will be doing this trip every month. I am hoping you will publish this information with my number and photo of the business to help me and to help the many expats that need this service.

Many Thanks
Ashton Davies


Conúltenos, S.A. – VW of David

The VW dealer in David has been open for about a year, but it was only a week or so ago that I dropped in. From what I have read, VW is wanting to increase its world presence.

Besides VWs, they are also carrying Audi. Their presence in David will no doubt have an effect on sales in Toyota and Honda.

I had stopped in about a month ago and they have a small VW that I really liked. I didn’t have my camera on that day and when I took these photos, the small models had been sold.

I have seen a lot of VWs driving around David, so the word has already gotten around.

If you stop in the dealership, tell them you read about them on Chiriquí Chatter.

A Great Recommendation

I mentioned a long time ago that I had done some body damage on my car. I had backed into a pole and put a nice dent in the rear fender and broke the long brake light.

Also a few months back my AC went out. I had been driving around for several months in a hot car with a bum rear end trying to find a reasonable place to do the work.

I had gone to an AC shop near Bombasa and they had said I needed several parts and the total bill would be approaching $300. I really wanted them to just re-gas it, but they said it needed the other work.

On the body damage, I had a quote to do the body work for around $200 and if I wanted a new taillight assembly, it would be another $200.

Well to make a log story short, a good friend recommended I go see Franklin Rangel (Cell number 64887070). He is off the new double lane road running by KFC toward Boquete.

I went to see Franklin and he said he would do the work for $100. He also said he would recommend Taller Serracin to fix the taillight and even took me over there so I could get a good estimate.

Serracin fixed the taillight for $32 which sure beats $200 for a new one.

Not only that, but Franklin told me an AC place to have my car AC checked. I stopped by it and the fellow looked and said he saw no signs of a leak, so it would be worth trying a gas charge first. If the gas leaked out again he said it would need a new evaporator. He gassed it for $35 and if I need a new evaporator it will be about $200 for labor and parts.

The shop is behind Serviauto Siu Lin and is called Taller Servicentro El Coche. If you facing the front of the David Public library, turn right at the corner to your left. Pass the Ministerio de Trabajo y Desarullo Laboral and at the end of the block on the left you will see the entrance to El Coche.

I have been driving in a cold car again for two days and hope it stays that way, but if it doesn’t I know where I will have my work done.

All in all I think the recommendation I got to talk to Franklin has saved several hundred dollars.