July 19, 2018, 3:53 am
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Isuzu gathers owners, enthusiasts, vehicles in one big event

NEWS of a stormy weekend failed to stop the hundreds of Isuzu fans and enthusiasts coming together for Isuzu’s “The Big Meet”—a grand eyeball of owners represented by the three biggest Isuzu car clubs—Team Isuzu Pilipinas, Team Isuzu Car Enthusiasts and mu-X Owners Philippines.

Nearly five hundred fans came braved the congestion to MegaTent in Pasig riding in over 350 Isuzu vehicles—D-Max, Mu-X and the Crosswind as well as earlier models such as the Trooper, Highlander and Fuego came in camaraderie and friendly competition.

“I am very happy to see all 3 Isuzu clubs in one place, and for me, this is a very good opportunity to share with you our company’s milestone that we will celebrate two days from now, July 31. This day is a very special day for Isuzu Philippines Corporation, because it marks our 20th anniversary,” Hajime Koso, IPC President said.

The Isuzu Big Meet, aims to be the biggest gathering of Isuzu vehicles. Organizers lined-up different activities customers and their families highlighted by the Isuzu car show which is open to stock and modified vehicles. The afternoon was filled with a series of fun and games, an eating contest and band entertainment.

The event is part of IPC’s 20th year anniversary celebration, which started early this year with several tree planting activities in Mount Makiling in Laguna, truck training activities as part of is safety series advocacy, sales promotions at the dealerships and a get together with the media called “North Drive” to celebrate the Highlander-Crosswind utility vehicle—the longest running single platform utility vehicle in the country to date. 

The company officially started operations in the Philippines on July 31, 1997 when it rolled out the first locally assembled Isuzu
Highlander from its Sta. Rosa plant. Since then the company has sold over 247,000 trucks and passenger vehicles in a total of 35 dealers nationwide. 

“We are targetting to reach 250,000 vehicle sales before the end of the quarter,” Nora Liquido, Communications chief of IPC said.

“(This event) is to say thank you to our loyal customers over the years. So for today, we are conducting our first-ever “Isuzu Big Meet,” which is a grand Isuzu car club event,” Koso added.

Isuzu also gave a 20 percent discount on parts, accessories, and Isuzu premium items.

Isuzu owners are passionate about their vehicles and many vintage Isuzus such as the Fuego and Highlander are kept running. 

“It is indestructible,” Rod Plata, an Isuzu Crosswind owner comments, as he brags of his 14-year old Highlander. Plata also owns a 2015 Crosswind and attests to the engine’s reliability and the durability of the vehicle’s chassis 

and body. He also said how easy it is to maintain and how affordable it is to run.

“My Highlander and Crosswind runs on whatever diesel fuel is available. And it can carry all seven passengers and a lot of cargo too,” Plata explains.

Another Isuzu owner, who drives a D-Max says that the Isuzu platforms are continuous—meaning that the technology and design improves but the spirit and essence of the vehicles remain the same. 

“My first pick up was a Fuego, and I moved to the D-Max because the Isuzu has never given me any problem at all,” Tim Trinidad said. He particularly mentioned how he has only one Isuzu dealer in Libis and that the same service person has been his mechanic for 10 years. 

For his part, Joseph Bautista, IPC’s Division Manager for Sales and Marketing explained that the gathering was not only a show of gratitude but also a way to strengthen the bond between the brand and its supporters. 

“It is my pleasure to be here for The Big Meet of all 3 Isuzu Clubs in the Philippines…allow me to extend our very big “thank you” for your trust and confidence in Isuzu products. It is truly very rewarding for me to see our products alongside people of various lifestyle and profession,” Bautista said in his welcome speech.

The main part of the event is a car show with six categories covering the full passenger vehicle line-up of Isuzu. This includes Best Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) display, Best Pick-Up Display, Best Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) display, Best Engine Set-up, Best Sound / Entertainment Set-Up and Best 4x4 Set-Up.

Judges from Isuzu and the motoring media were on hand for the difficult job of selecting through the several entries in each category. They were led by Joseph Bautista; Yasuhiko Oyama, Vice President for Sales, IPC; Nora Liquido, Corporate Communication Head, IPC; Ronald Rey de los Reyes, President, Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI); Angelo Perez, Editor-in-Chief, Wheels Magazine.

“The event was very successful in its objectives of bringing the biggest number of Isuzu fans and enthusiasts to one venue, it is a worthwhile experience for all the attendees,” Ronald de los Reyes said.

The rest of the day was a series of games between participants of the three car clubs. 

“The past 20 years have been very fruitful for us, and we are proud to have achieved successes in our product offerings, sales and service performance, and awards. But for me, the biggest achievement is having happy and loyal customers like all of you, with your Isuzu vehicles as part of your daily lives.  For us, there is no greater reward,” Koso said in appreciation of all who came to the event.

“Today is a day of fun, celebration and friendly competition. I wish you all the best of luck! Before I end my speech, allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude for your continued support to the Isuzu brand,” he said as he concluded his speech.
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