LCVs for SMEs: Workhorse choices for Filipino entrepreneurs

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Now, more than ever, the Philippine economy is at a harrowing status because of the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But with the attempts to jumpstart the economy comes the real backbone of the country – small-to-medium enterprises or SMEs.

And of course, these small businesses need a trusty partner in their daily transaction, whether for delivery of essential goods and services or whatever the case may be.

From shuttle body types to cargo-hauling closed vans, there are plenty to choose from in the Philippine market. As such, we’ve listed down the light commercial vehicles that SMEs can choose from, along with the range of prices for each model.

BAIC Freedom and Bayanihan H5

Apart from its revamped lineup of passenger vehicles, Chinese automaker BAIC also offers commercial vehicles that come with reasonable price tags.

The BAIC Freedom starts at P488,000 for the previous generation of the model with a single-cab dropside flatbed. The newer third-generation model asks P518,000 for the same body configuration, and that already comes with the updated 1.2-liter gasoline engine that makes 82hp and 112Nm of torque. The one with the wing van configuration, which you can use for various purposes, sits at the top of the range at P768,000. The Freedom MPV type can seat up to 14 passengers.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something that runs on diesel, BAIC offers the Bayanihan H5 that starts at P638,000 and ceilings at P814,000 for the passenger van with dual air-conditioning. Its turbocharged diesel mill makes up to 60hp and 150Nm of torque, more than enough for your hauling needs. The Bayanihan H5 touts a 1.5-ton payload limit for its drop-side model, and a 1-ton capacity for its passenger and closed van variants.

Foton Gratour and Harabas

Foton has two choices for you if you’re looking for a trusty workhorse for your small business: gasoline and diesel.

The Gratour nameplate is often connected with Foton’s small minivan, but the company also offers a variation of the vehicle in either MPV (FB body), dropside, F-Van or wing van – all powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that makes 110hp and 142Nm of torque. The Foton Gratour starts at P520,000 for the dropside configuration and ceilings at P625,000 for the MPV (FB Body). The Gratour MPV seats 12 people.

The Foton Harabas, on the other hand, also comes as an MPV (FB body), dropside, F-Van, or wing van but this time, with a 2.2-liter turbodiesel that puts out 86hp and a healthy 220Nm torque. The Harabas TM300 dropside sells for P755,000 while the MPV (FB Body) goes for P860,000. Of note, the 10-feet drop-side model can carry up to 1.1 tons, while the MPV can ferry up to 16 people.

Hyundai H-100 

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) offers a bevy of commercial vehicles, starting with the H-100, whichcomes in two body types: Cargo (also called KapitanKargo) and Shuttle (FB Body). Both boast a payload capacity of over 1 ton, pulled by a 2.5-liter CRDi diesel engine that makes 130hp and 255Nm of torque. HARI also offers the H-100 Shuttle with passenger division that promotes social distancing.

The Hyundai H-100 starts at P965,000 for the Cab & Chassis variant, while the Shuttle body starts at P1,210,000. The KapitanKargo type without A/C sells for P1,038,000.

Isuzu Traviz and D-Max Single Cab

As a brand that specializes in light- to heavy-duty trucks, Isuzu Philippines also has something to cater to the needs of small-to-medium enterprises.

The Traviz is at the forefront of the small Isuzu workhorses, which comes in either S or L variants. Ready to configure as a dropside truck, aluminum van, or refrigerated van, powered by a 2.5-liter diesel that makes 77hp and 177Nm of torque. The Cab & Chassis (for both S and L variants) has a payload of 1.6 tons.

The Travis Cab & Chassis S sells for P962,000 while the L has a sticker price of P992,000.

Meanwhile, despite the new-generation model already here, the D-Max retains its Cab & Chassis variant that’s ready to be configured to any specification. Powered by the 148hp, 350Nm 1.9-liter RZ4E diesel engine, the D-Max Cab & Chassis can be had for P857,000.

Kia K2500

Kia Philippines has an extensive 11-piece lineup that ranges from the small Picanto to the premium Stinger, but a part of that extensive offering is the K2500 light commercial vehicle that starts at P820,000 for the Cab & Chassis Single Cab and ceilings at P1,100,000 for the Karga variant.

The K2500 is powered by the same engine from Hyundai, the 2.5-liter CRDi diesel that makes 130hp and 255 Nm of torque. The Karga and Closed Van variants can carry up to 835 kilograms.

Maxus V80 Flex

Maxus Philippines may be new to the game, but it already has a contender in the light commercial vehicle segment with the V80 Flex. Rid of seats at the rear to maximize its cargo-hauling capabilities, the huge Flex van offers covered cargo space inside a 4,950mm long body.

Pulling the massive vehicle is a 2.5-liter CRDi diesel engine that puts out 134hp and 330Nm of torque. Sticker price is at P1,190,000.

Mitsubishi L300 and Strada GL

The Mitsubishi L300 is probably the longest-running nameplate on this list, so it needs no further introduction. Available in various body types, the latest version of the L300 is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that makes 98hp and 200Nm torque. Payload capacity is at around 1.2 tons, with a sticker price that starts at P804,000.

The Strada, on the other hand, also has a commercial GL variant that you can configure to your needs. Even better, there’s a 4×4 version for the more demanding situations. Starts at P815,000.

Nissan Urvan Cargo

You may know Nissan for the Navara and the Terra, but the Japanese automaker also offers a cargo-hauling version of its NV350 Urvan. With a maximum torque of 356Nm and output of 127hp, the cabin can carry even tall loads due to the high-roof configuration of the van.

Nissan Philippines didn’t disclose the payload capacity of the Urvan Cargo, but it sells for P1,162,000.

Suzuki Carry and Super Carry

Suzuki is the leading automaker when it comes to small cars, but that doesn’t mean that the company doesn’t have anything to offer for SMEs. In fact, the Suzuki Carry is one of the company’s top three bestsellers in 2020, which offers up to 940kg of payload carrying capability in a compact and affordable package. The Carry is priced at P529,000 for the truck body while the utility van and cargo van are priced at P644,000 and P606,000, respectively.

If you need something even smaller, Suzuki Philippines also offers the Super Carry Utility Van that can carry up to 10 passengers. It’s also powered by a 0.8-liter diesel engine, with a price tag of P580,000.

Toyota Hilux FX/Cargo and Hiace Cargo

Toyota Motor Philippines has the widest range of passenger vehicles in the country, but it also has diesel-powered workhorses to offer for those looking for a partner in their businesses.

The Hilux pickup has a base variant with FX and Cargo body types, which will depend on your business preference. The Cargo variant sells for P936,000, while the FX body with rear A/C has a P1,057,000 price tag.

The Hiace, on the other hand, is also available with a Cargo variant that doesn’t have rear seats. It also comes with the previous-generation fascia,  but that doesn’t matter as it only sells for P1,101,000.

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