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Isuzu sales up 15% in H1

MANILA, Philippines - Isuzu Philippines Corp.(IPC) sales rose 15 percent to 6,700 units in the first semester, driven largely by Asian utility vehicles (AUV).

“Fifty percent of our sales is from AUV. Our AUV entry is the Crosswind which is well-loved by OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” Arthur Balmadrid, senior vice president for corporate business division of IPC, told reporters at the sidelines of the IPC’s 15th anniversary Monday night.

The Crosswind, he said, is the preferred vehicle of OFWs as it can accommodate a lot of people, it can be used even when there are floods and is fuel-efficient.

He said most of their vehicles consume less fuel, making it the brand’s number one selling point.

The higher sales for the period, he also said, was supported by the country’s favorable economic conditions.

IPC is aiming to sell 13,000 vehicles this year, 20 percent higher than a year ago.

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“We only sold around 10,800 (last year) so we want to be more aggressive this year,” Balmadrid said.

He said this year’s sales target is the highest set by IPC so far, with record sales of 12,000 units seen in 2003.

In the long-term, IPC would also want to expand its operations here by increasing its production.

“We wish to assure the Philippines that we plan to expand our operations here,” Yoshinori Ida, senior counselor of Isuzu Motors Ltd. said in the same event.

At present, IPC’s plant capacity which is good for 15,000 units per year, is not fully utilized with production levels ranging between 10,000 to 12,000 units.

Balmadrid said IPC’s expansion of production would depend largely on local demand.

“If demand is there, then we will push for expansion,” he said.

IPC, he said, likewise intends to increase the local content of cars being assembled here to reduce the cost of production.

He noted though that government support to local parts makers would be needed to make that industry more competitive.

The bulk or 90 percent of IPC’s products are assembled in the Philippines except for the Alterra.

The Crosswind is being produced with 40 to 45 percent of its parts sourced locally.

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