Centro continues to be bullish on domestic wing van market
Centro Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s largest truck body builder, continues to be optimistic about the wing van market in the country.
Centro Sales Manager Vic Belisario says that in the past, the large three-ton and above trucks with wing vans were dominated by Japanese second-hand imports. “You will see numerous second-hand wing vans often still sporting their old Japanese logos and company names plying the expressways going in and out of Metro Manila. They transport important commodities such as fast moving consumer goods, finished goods and raw materials”.
“We have gotten used to cheaper second-hand imports up until now when the logistics game took a turn for the better. With the improved economy churning out record numbers, an efficient, reliable and low-cost transport logistics system has spelled the difference in delivering customer satisfaction. Now, many of the large Filipino companies are investing in logistics to make their business more efficient and become more competitive in the market”.
Centro COO Jerryme Garcia explains that since logistics is now the name of the game, logistics companies cannot afford to be stalled by breakdowns and repairs. “This is precisely the reason why Centro Manufacturing partnered with Nippon Fruehauf almost a year ago to service the growing demand for brand new wing vans. We did not just choose any partner when we decided to get into wing vans, we chose the very best and number one in the industry, which is Nippon Fruehauf”.
Shunichi Tokunaga, Senior Managing Director for Japan and Overseas Operations of Nippon Fruehauf, said that when they first looked at the Philippine market, they saw that it was already very ripe. “When we chose a partner for the Philippines, we identified that Centro Manufacturing was the best partner because of its track record and experience. They built a 1,700 sqm assembly plant dedicated to assembling Nippon Fruehauf wing vans alone”.
He explains that the aluminum wing van is a logistical tool that maximizes the efficiency and safety of high-volume transport. “Loading and unloading times are drastically reduced. Idle time for loading and unloading means ‘zero speed logistics’. We have to move the products faster to save time and avoid unnecessary expenses. Smarter and faster operations also bring safety to the operators and furthermore, to the products. The wing van keeps the products free from rain and dust, reduces damage to the products and eliminates pilferage while in transit. Its lighter body results in fuel economy and increases the efficiency of the vehicle”.
Centro together with Isuzu Philippines has introduced the Isuzu G-Cargo wing van mounted on an Isuzu FVM chassis cab which features a Seiko Rack mechanism that eases the lifting and closing of the gate. It also has side bars for added protection and accessibility and an air deflector for better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
“We are very happy with the results of the product introduction in the Philippine market and how it has accepted the wing van”, says Hiroto Nakaguro, Sales Department head of Isuzu Philippines. “The market response is good. Many Isuzu fleet customers have jumped into our bandwagon by replacing their old, second-hand wing vans with brand new Isuzu G-Cargo wing vans. And we believe the market uptake will continue to the next year and beyond!”