THE light duty truck market now has a new player as Isuzu Philippines Corporation launched Traviz, which will compete head on with the likes of the newly revived Mitsubishi L300 and recently uprated Hyundai H-100.
“We launched to anticipate a growing market need in the light duty truck segment. The Philippine economy continues to grow and there is renewed interest and brand new small trucks that can endure the heavy traffic and short distance hauling,” IPC President Hajime Koso said in a separate interview following the launch at the SMX Convention Center.
Traviz represents the term “transcend your business” meaning that the vehicle and its design was to be able to be quickly configured into many light duty truck applications. At the launch event, three truck body configurations were presented.
A passenger carrier, the high-side pick-up, refrigerated van and the base cab-and-chassis model were presented side by side, and in actual application. The pick-up variant for example had a payload of about 40, 5-gallon bottles of water in the back.
The Traviz uses Isuzu’s 2.5-liter 4JA1 BluePower direct-injection diesel. The engine outputs 78 PS at 3900 rpm and 176.5 Nm of torque at 1800 rpm and is Euro 4 compliant. A gated 5-speed manual gearbox is used to transmit power to the rear wheels suspended on heavy duty leaf springs. It is rated to carry up to 1.6 ton pay load the heaviest in the lightweight truck category and comes with a 3-year or 100,000 km warranty, whichever comes first.
Interiors have fabric seats and two three point seatbelts and a middle lapbelt, AM/FM radio with USB, Aux and SD slot as standard. The USB port is powered with 2 amps, 5V so it can charge too. Sounds are directed to a two-speaker sound system and air-conditioning is optional.
“The all-new Isuzu Traviz continues our tradition of providing not just reliable products but business solutions—reasons why, in the Philippines, Isuzu has been at the number-one spot for more than 19 years. The new Isuzu Travis will be the perfect companion for any kind of business,” Koso adds.
With key IPC officials, dealer representatives, and local motoring media in attendance, the Isuzu president also explained how the new truck answers the three most pressing and current customer needs, based on detailed market survey and IPC’s extensive on-the-ground experience in the country.
Koso said the Traviz is for big manufacturers, needing reliable trucks for their ‘last mile’ delivery of items to retail stores or door-to-door deliveries, for the increasing number of SMEs and upcoming business owners, and for transportation solutions including Class 1 PUVMP applications. It is ideal for use in food businesses, utility companies, and in cargo and logistics, in transport and delivery services, and in open load use in agriculture, construction, and equipment.
The Traviz is so named using the words “Transport, Trading, and Transcend” combined with the word “biz”, the shortened term for “business”. Its’ design concept combines the best qualities of Japan’s best-selling truck (hexapod design, fuel-efficiency, capacity, rigidity) with the flexibility and stability of Isuzu pickups in order to produce the two variants, Traviz S (Short wheelbase) and the Traviz L (Long wheelbase).
The new truck also offers marked advantages in many other important aspects, such as interior cab spaciousness, engine brake performance, maneuverability, and overall modern design, backed by strong aftersales support.
Its turning radius, at 4.5 meters, is the shortest in its class, helping drivers maneuver in tight spaces even while carrying heavier loads. The Traviz offers a wide cabin with better legroom, more ergonomic and comfortable–thus safer–driving position.
It is currently produced in Isuzu’s world-class assembly facilities in Indonesia, where it is called Traga and is enjoying up to 46 percent share of the market segment within a year of its introduction.