Picking up

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Filipinos have been spoiled for choice when it comes to pickups. There has been no shortage of models and variants to choose from over the past number of years. And no shortage of promos and discounts either.

Just off the top of one’s head come the Raptor and Ranger, the Hilux, D-Max, Navara, Strada, and Colorado. And even that long list doesn’t include the Chinese brand pickups already in the market.

The latest to join the pickup market is the Maxus T60.

Maxus is a British brand renowned in Europe and other regional markets as a maker of quality light commercial vehicles. This brand has been acquired by the China-based SAIC.

AC Motors, the automotive distribution and retail group of Ayala subsidiary AC Industrial, introduced the Maxus brand to the country initially with the launch of the G10 multipurpose vehicle and the V80 van last year. This month Maxus Philippines added the T60 pickup to its lineup with two variants, the 4×2 Pro, offered in both manual and automatic transmission and the 4×4 Elite which comes only with automatic transmission.

At the launch of the newest pickup in the market held at the Arcovia City in Pasig, Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. president Felipe Estrella pointed out that the Maxus T60 bears 124 years of “British heritage, British expertise and British excellence in the global commercial vehicle category.”

“Moreover, the T60 pickup is produced by SAIC Motor which ranked among the top 10 automakers globally selling more than 7 million units in 2018. This is a testament to the global scale and acceptance of SAIC,” Estrella added.

Maxus Philippines hopes to strengthen its foothold in the local commercial market by expanding its vehicle lineup with the T60 pickup.

“The addition of the T60 pickup to our growing model lineup strengthens our market foothold on the Light Commercial Vehicles’ category in the country as we now have virtually the entire range of models for business and lifestyle requirements—transporting people, cargo, or a combination of both in any road condition,” said Maxus Philippines general manager Reginald See.

Maxus believes very competitive introductory entry-level prices for a T60 packed with top-end features and amenities would attract local pickup buyers.

“The T60 is packed with features at an entry level price. The pricing for the T60 highlights Maxus Philippines’ efforts to make a world class, feature-packed and safe pickup affordable for our customers,” See said.

Standard features in the T60 Pro and Elite variants include an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink, rear camera and rear sensors, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, rear air conditioning vents plus a wading depth of 800mm, Maxus said. Also standard are front airbags, ISOFIX seats, immobilizer and tire pressure monitoring system.

The 4×4 Elite also comes with LED headlamps and DRLs, Electronic Stability Program, power driver seat adjustments, push start ignition, a larger 10-inch monitor for its infotainment system and automatic air conditioning, it added.

Maxus claims the midsize T60 is the longest and widest in class. Both variants are powered by a 2.8-liter diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbocharger and Drive Mode Select. The engine is mated either to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The T60 engine generates 150ps at 3,400 rpm and 360Nm of torque at 1,600-2,800rpm.

The Maxus T60 4×2 Pro MT is priced at P948,000, the 4×2 Pro AT at P1,028,000, and the 4×4 Elite AT at P1,278,000.

During the launch of the Maxus T60, guests were given the opportunity to test drive and experience the power, comfort, and overall performance of the newest pickups in the market on on-road and off-road courses set up at the venue.

Multilingual Exams

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will sooner or later begin conducting driver’s licensure exams or tests in English, Pilipino, or other local dialects.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has directed the LTO to have the standard driver licensure test questions translated into local dialects.

This was in response to earlier suggestions from congressmen, including Davao Oriental 2nd District Representative Joel Mayo Z. Almario, who said this would help people from the Visayas and Mindanao pass the test.

“The written examination for driver’s license should not be limited to two languages — English and Filipino. What if they will conduct the test in the Visayas and in Mindanao, and those poor countrymen of mine cannot understand Tagalog and cannot fully understand English?” Secretary Tugade was quoted as having said in a forum.

This may be all well and good. Meanwhile many people are now saying that translating reviewers for the driver’s licensure tests should also be done. And come to think of it, materials for the seminars on traffic regulations and road safety should also be translated to local dialects.

Multiple Violations

The numbers are staggering. We are talking about the thousands of drivers who have been cited for multiple  traffic rules violations by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

In a press statement, the MMDA said it has submitted 12,000 names of drivers with multiple traffic citation tickets  to the LTO last month.

The press statement also noted that only half of the 2,500 public utility vehicle drivers listed as having a record of multiple violations answered show cause orders issued by the LTO.

Now the MMDA is asking the LTO for authority to apprehend PUV drivers with multiple citations and stop them from driving in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the MMDA and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have moved to meet public transport companies operating in Metro Manila and submit to them the list of drivers with a history of violating traffic regulations. Transport authorities are requesting that these drivers not to be allowed to continue driving for them.

Again these initiatives are all to the good. But people are asking if there are already existing LTO regulations that mandate the revocation of driver’s licenses after the third violation. And if there are 3-and-done regulations now in place, why are they not being implemented or enforced?

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments and inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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