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Incentives readied for public utility vehicle makers

The Department of Trade and Industry plans to give funding support to companies that will make class 1 public utility vehicles (PUVs), each of which should be sold in the market at a retail price below P1 million.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on Tuesday that the agency was working on the support package, wherein automotive manufacturers would get an incentive “for every product [they] produce.”

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He said there were already prototypes from popular car companies Toyota, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. The class 1 PUV can carry 9 to 22 passengers.

“So that is a cheaper alternative. One that we can sell below one million [and] can give options to operators whether they need a bigger vehicle or the smaller vehicle,” Lopez said.

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He said this was cheaper than other kinds of PUVs costing up to P1.6 million in the retail market. The rules for the support package, he said, would be ready within the first quarter of next year.
This is part of a bigger initiative under the PUV Modernization Program, a scheme spearheaded by the Deparment of Transporation that aims to replace more than 200,000 jeepneys across the country.

DTI officials often compared this to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, a P27-billion government initiative that would pick three car manufacturers to locally produce a combined 600,000 units over a six-year period.

The CARS program has so far qualified only two carmakers—Toyota Motors Philippines and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines—the two best-selling carmakers in the country.

Both players, along with Hyundai, are interested in making Class 1 PUVs, according to Lopez. INQ

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