We take pride in our local manufacturing industry, so it comes as a shock when we hear that a model will no longer be produced in the Philippines. The Isuzu D-Max midsize pickup is the latest to be given the axe. We’ve reached out to Joseph Bautista, Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s (IPC) division manager for marketing and sales, and this is his statement:
“We met with local suppliers this morning to inform them that we are discontinuing the assembly of the D-Max in the Philippines. Our 5,000 units production cannot compete with the 1,000,000 units production in Thailand. Isuzu Philippines will continue to sell the D-Max locally, except that IPC will start importing the same model from Thailand to continue to compete in the price-sensitive ‘lifestyle’ pickup market.
“As Isuzu, we continue to support local assembly and local parts manufacturing industry. But the lower cost of production in Thailand and lower import duty for CBUs from ASEAN gave us no choice.”
Although the D-Max will still be available here, there’s still something special about knowing you’re driving a Philippine-made vehicle. That feeling will indeed be missed.