The modernization of the jeepney takes a step closer to realization as public and government pressure mounts on the Department of Transportation to implement its Jeepney Modernization Program that will effectively ban all jeepneys 15 years and older from plying the streets.
Leading truck body builder Centro Manufacturing Corp. has started to produce its prototype of the modern jeepney using the Isuzu NHR light truck platform. The prototype features a side entrance and perimeter, center-facing bench seats while the front will have doors on both sides.
The Isuzu-Centro jeepney prototype will be exhibited at the 2017 Isuzu Truck Fest at the SMX Convention Center, SM MOA, Pasay City from April 20 to 23.
Centro senior sales manager Vic Belisario said Centro chose the Isuzu NHR light truck platform because it is already tried and tested for Philippine roads in terms of endurance and durability.
“Due to its popularity, maintenance, servicing and spare parts are not a problem at all. It is also the same chassis platform that we use for our Isuzu iVAN microbus conversion which we have been producing since 2011. We and our customers are very happy with its performance and reliability”, Belisario said.
“The jeepney prototype currently has a seating capacity of 17 passengers and is powered by a 2.8 liter diesel engine”, he says. “But we plan to introduce a longer variant with a seating capacity of 23 passengers”.
“It makes sense that the jeepney will be powered and produced by Isuzu since the majority of the Jeepneys around the country now use Isuzu engines”, Hiroto Nakaguro, head of Sales Department of Isuzu Philippines Corporation said. “Since Isuzu is popular among transport operators and drivers, they are confident with Isuzu as a brand. They know that if it is Isuzu, then it is meant to be a workhorse -- heavy duty and reliable”, he added.
He also said that since it is brand new, it can be financed. “So the operators can apply for retail financing in banks, and at the same time enjoy the warranty and after-sales service of the 38 Isuzu dealerships nationwide”.
Belisario extends Centro's invitation to government officials, jeepney operators, transport groups and Isuzu dealers to take a glimpse at the future of Philippine mass transport industry. “Catch the new king of the road, the Centro-Isuzu modern jeepney at the Isuzu Truck Fest”, he said.*
A Centro prototype of the modern jeepney*
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