Isuzu Philippines has launched the Microbus, a commercial vehicle based on the N-Series truck platform, for fleet and mass transport use.
The Isuzu Microbus, which will be available starting the second half of 2010, is powered by Isuzu's 2.8-liter 4JB1-TC engine. Its body, which can accommodate up to 16 passengers, is built by coachbuilder Centro Manufacturing Corp.
"Customer-oriented establishments looking for a dependable and affordable means of transport for their clients now have the best mini bus the industry can offer," Isuzu Philippines senior vice president Arthur Balmadrid said in a statement.
In a separate interview, Balmadrid said the Isuzu Microbus on display is still just a prototype as it may still be modified prior to the vehicle's availability later this year.
"It's price will range from P1.3 million to P2 million, depending on the interior components. Right now, we are still getting a feel of what the market wants in the Microbus," he added.
Isuzu Philippines also launched the 2010 edition of its N-Series trucks, which are now Euro 2-complaint. The N-Series truck may be modified into a passenger van, refrigerated van, fire truck, cargo truck, and tanker, among other applications.
Isuzu Motors Ltd.'s Masahisa Kitamura, chief engineer of the N-Series truck who was in Manila during the launch, said the truck was really designed to meet the requirements of different businesses.
"Our customers consistently cite its durability, reliability, fuel-efficiency and low maintenance costs as being the main factors as to why they choose this vehicle," Kitamura said.
Isuzu Philippines said the N-Series has been the country's leading light-duty truck since 1999. Data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers' in the Philippines showed that in 2009, Isuzu Philippines dominated the light-truck sector of the commercial vehicle segment with sales reaching 997 units representing 49.2 percent of the market.