July 19, 2018, 5:18 am
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FOR THE PUV MODERNIZATION PROGRAM: Hino shows off modern jeepney prototypes at transpo expo

FOUR variants of Hino Motors Philippines’ (HMP) modern jeepney prototypes were presented at the Public Transport Modernization Expo organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Under the theme “Modernong Sasakyan, Progresibong Bayan” the expo, held at the Philippine Convention Center (PICC) Forum in Pasay City, paves the direction of the evolution of the jeepney.

“When we started to design the modern Philippine jeepney, we went into the process of studying very well what needs to be improved in the product and match this to the market needs with the many Filipino and Japanese technologies that are available to us,” Susumu Myokan, HMP VP-Business Planning told Malaya Business Insight during the Hino Media Plant Tour last month. During that visit, Myokan also revealed that it was ready to showcase HMP’s final versions of the jeepney.

Hino’s modern jeepney prototypes use Hino 4- and 6-wheelers platforms that meet Class II and III specifications. These come in air-conditioned and non-airconditioned versions. 

“There are markets that do not require airconditioners based on the specifications made under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP),” Hiroshi Aoki HMP President explained during the media presentation of the prototypes while these were still being built at Hino’s assembly facilities in Canlubang, Laguna. During that visit the HMP executive showed in detail the craftmanship and quality that went into the production of the Hino jeepney prototypes.

“These are the ones we will display at a transport show soon,” Aoki explained adding that it will be a quick transition from prototype to manufacturing because of the production methods employed at the HMP factory that are centered on safety to produce quality.

Designed like mini buses, the Euro 4-powered Hino jeepneys provide a seating capacity from 23 to 30 passengers. The Hino Class III model is an air-conditioned mini bus type with ample room for its front-facing passenger seats, secured with seatbelts for additional safety. The Hino Class II PUV is designed more closely to the conventional jeepney with side-facing passenger seats and covered open air windows. Its design is also provisioned for standing passengers to further maximize passenger loading capacity.

The PUVMP gathered different local players in the commercial manufacturer industry to display their prototypes for public viewing.

“Our active participation in the government’s project is driven by our Hino’s Total Support mantra. We are committed to providing reliable and innovative transport system solutions for the welfare of all our stakeholders - including our natural resources such as the air we breathe. We believe that this is the first step toward an upgraded and greener transport system,” HMP Chairman Vicente T. Mills, Jr. said.

As the only local “one-stop” shop both for trucks and buses, HMP engages not only in the assembly of high-quality customized vehicles built on Hino chassis platforms but also in the production of standardized and customized truck and bus bodies to meet specific requirements of its customers and transport partners.  Malaya Business Insight reported on how the company had built customized, special purpose vehicles such as a mobile library, mobile hospital, mobile court for the Supreme Court of the Philippines and mobile kitchen units recently deployed to Davao. Hino’s chassis combined with customized bodies is HMP’s response to the country’s need for application-specific, reliable and sustainable transport system units.

“Our discussion with different jeepney operators and cooperatives has helped us improve our prototypes. As we address the need for a more reliable transport system, we will continue to leverage our ability to assemble and distribute quality trucks and buses designed to help Filipinos get where they need to go―safely, economically and with environmental responsibility―while focusing on sustainable development,” Aoki shared. – Raymond G.B. Tribdino
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