Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s (IPC) perpetual model, the Isuzu Hilander and Crosswind, has reached a milestone recently, with production breaching the 100,000 mark. To celebrate the milestone, IPC, on January 21, 2015, held a program highlighting the 100,000th Crosswind to roll off its manufacturing plant at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Laguna. Leading the ceremony was IPC president Nobuo Izumina, who was joined by other company officials and team members from the production line.
“Today, the 100,000th Isuzu Crosswind comes out of the assembly line. This is a vehicle that holds a special place in Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s history as it proves that vehicle manufacturing in the Philippines is a viable endeavor, and one that meaningfully contributes to national progress by generating employment and government revenue,” Izumina said.
The Hilander was first launched in 1997, around two years after IPC was established. The model was one of the first vehicles assembled by the company at its then-new world-class manufacturing facilities. Shortly after its introduction, the Hilander quickly established itself as a leader in the highly competitive local AUV segment, having 6,145 units assembled in its first year. However, the Asian financial crisis during the time impacted the domestic automotive industry, and so manufacturing and sales of the Hilander dipped in the following two years.
Sales of the model picked up again in 2000, after the introduction of new variants like the XTRM. By mid-2001, IPC already manufactured 17,391 Hilander units. During the same year, IPC followed up the Hilander’s performance with the launch of the new Crosswind. In its first few months in the market, IPC recorded to have built 5,659 units of the Crosswind.
In the following years the Crosswind assumed its role as IPC’s best-selling light commercial vehicle. Sales of the model exploded pushing the company to manufacture 9,126 units by the end of 2003.
To keep the Crosswind competitive in the market, IPC periodically freshened up the model and continuously added new variants. Included among these are the XUVi and Sportivo, which the company successfully positioned as alternative choices in the SUV segment. Basic variants like the XS and XL, which are intended for shuttle or commercial services, and the more family-oriented XT, also strengthened the Crosswind’s stature and made the nameplate relevant to many Filipino consumers.
Besides possessing the Isuzu brand’s core values of durability, reliability and fuel-efficiency, key features that make the Crosswind a compelling vehicle choice are its powerful but frugal 4JA1-L turbocharged diesel engine, responsive transmissions and tried-and-tested suspension systems. The top variants, which have proven to be excellent family vehicles, also boast of premium equipment like multimedia systems, vinyl upholstery, halogen headlamps, roof rails and a shark fin antenna.
Attesting to this are the Filipino consumers, who from 2001 to 2014 have showed consistent demand impelling IPC to assemble 82,488 Crosswind units within that period. The Crosswind’s popularity, specially to OFW families, continued in the first weeks of January 2015, combined with the performance logged by the Hilander, has resulted in the nameplates reaching their 100,000th-unit milestone.
“Isuzu Philippines Corporation is truly humbled by the Filipinos’ overwhelming reception to the Isuzu Hilander and Crosswind. Rest assured that Isuzu will continually offer vehicles that make a difference in people’s lives,” Izumina added.