Manila, 21 April 2017—Market leader Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) kicked off their annual Truck Fest at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City yesterday, this year putting the spotlight squarely on the work of long time body building partners including Almazora Motors Corporation, Kyoei Kogyo Philippines Corporation (KPC) and Centro Manufacturing Corporation. Launched at the event which runs from April 20 to 23—taking center-stage and, in fact, configured as the event’s elevated stage—was Isuzu’s FVM top medium-duty truck with the new Nippon-Freuhauf wing van body that’s now license-built here by Centro.

Isuzu has been the top truck brand in the Philippines for 17 consecutive years, with 36% growth last year showing them continuing their gains in 2015 when they finally topped the heavy-duty tractor heads segment as well. Now, with IPC highlighting the quality and diversity of applications built on their solid-frame truck chassis, the company seems prepared to defend their leadership in detail and across all categories, from light- to heavy-duty haulers.

IPC marketing head Joseph Bautista said that wing van bodies have wide and surprising applications here with some being used as mobile showrooms in the countryside by appliance retailers, and that the newly launched Nippon-Freuhauf wing van body for the Isuzu FVM is built to the same specs as those fitted out on trucks for the Japanese domestic market. The rear body engineered by pioneering wing van manufacturer Nippon-Freuhauf of Japan, and built under license by Centro at their Bulacan factory, is constructed with light yet high-grade aluminum and features hydraulically operated wing sections that open up at the touch of a button.  The hydraulic actuators for the wing sections are tested to withstand over 20,000 operating cycles, said Centro senior sales manager Vic del Rosario.

Mr. del Rosario pointed to cargo loading/unloading efficiency as being the reason that among the ubiquitous surplus trucks on the country’s transport grid, the Land Transport and Franchising Board (LTFRB) estimates that 300,000 are outfitted with wing van bodies. He further said that among these surplus wing van trucks, the LTFRB reports that around 90,000 are over 15 years old and that 3,000 have already failed to have their franchises renewed under the government’s initiative to effect the replacement of trucks that have reached that 15-year age limit. Centro’s production of wing-van bodies starts today and these counts in terms of truck units and lifespans give context to their major undertaking to build these bodies for Isuzu on a 50-units per month assembly line laid out to Nippon-Freuhauf specifications.

Nippon-Freuhauf wing van assembly line at Centro Marilao plant (photo compliments of Centro)