Various manufacturers showcased their PUV concepts and public transport alternatives at the first Philippine Auto Parts Expo held on October 12 to 13 at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.
The vehicles shown in the expo were made to comply with the standards of the recently implemented PUV Modernisation program by the Department of Transport (DOTr), following the announcement of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The CARS program was based on Executive Order No. 182 that will enable the country to become a regional automotive manufacturing hub, patterning countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.
“The launch of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program in 2015 was indeed a huge milestone for the automotive industry,” said Satori Suzuki, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. president, during the opening ceremonies during the event.
The PUV exhibit also follows DTI’s announcement that the part of its CARS project budget will be allocated for the manufacturing of PUVs to start the development of the PUV sector. The proposed price range has also been released, with non- aircon models sitting at P1.4 million and air-conditioned models at P1.6 million.
“They have developed a financing plan [from those target prices]called 567 – 5 percent down, 6 percent interest, seven years to pay. The government’s study feels that with that, even though it’s more expensive than their old counterparts with chopped up parts, it generates more revenue. You have more comfortable passengers that way, and people can charge a little bit more with air conditioning systems,” Hino Motor Philippines Chairman Vicente Mills Jr. told Fast Times.
Notable commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Isuzu, Tata Motors, Hino and Hyundai have previewed their PUV prototypes in conjunction with such as Centro and Almazora.
Isuzu displayed three prototypes as bids, two of which are based from the QKR 55 platform and the NHR55 platform. Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) president Hajime Koso said in a statement that they still have to conduct tests for passenger comfort.
“The total number of jeepneys that will be replaced in the next six years is 200,000. We hope to get at least a sizable percentage of those numbers,” IPC Marketing head Joseph Bautista told Fast Times.
“As it is, it shows that our company is ready for the shift towards the modernization of the country’s public transport system. We hope that with the help of the different government agencies involved in the project we will be able to provide a more comfortable, safer and environment friendly transport alternative,” Koso added.
Hino displayed two PUV prototypes in their booth, using their 302 powertrain with the body made in-factory. Tata also previewed two of their PUV bids with the bodies also made in-house, while Hyundai previewed a prototype in conjunction with Del Monte Motor Works. Fuso also made their PUV bid using a Canter platform.
The first PhilAPEX was hosted by the Philippine Parts Maker Association in conjunction with the DTI and DOTr. Alain Louise C. Geronimo