Isuzu to focus on PUV production

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    Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) gears up for higher volume of production of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to take advantage of government’s efforts to modernize jeepneys.

    IPC is focusing on the production of PUVs following the discontinuation of the assembly of its pick-up model, the D-Max.

    “Our factories (will) focus on making the trucks specifically the N series and we are geared towards higher volume for the PUV modernization,” said Joseph Bautista, sales division head of IPC.

    Isuzu is a leader in trucks for almost two decades with market share of about 60 percent.

    According to Bautista, IPC’s factory can produce up to 16,000 units per year with PUVs making up for the lost volume of D-Max

    Both PUVs and trucks are made from the same platform, the N-series.

    At present, trucks contribute about 10,000 units to IPC’s pool annually.

    The government targets to replace 200,000 jeepneys with modern units.

    Bautista said IPC targets to grab about 30,000 to 40,000 units of that volume over the next three to four years.

    Bautista hopes the company would be able to replicate the success of its trucks in the PUV segment.

    IPC has various body builders as partners for PUVs. These include Centro Manufacturing Corp., Almazora Motors Corp. and Santarosa Motorworks.