Isuzu taps into growing market for ride-share apps (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The local unit of Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. expects its sales to get a boost from the rising popularity of private vehicle booking service apps Uber and GrabCar.

As the battle between Uber and GrabCar heats up, Arthur Balmadrid, senior vice president for sales at Isuzu Philippines Corp., said in a chance interview the company would benefit in terms of higher vehicle sales.

“We already surpassed our target for the first-half and we likewise anticipate to exceed our set annual volume targetAdditional sales from the Uber market will likewise increase our sales,” Balmadrid said.

He said the mu-X sports utility vehicle launched in September last year, is among the vehicles being used by Uber and GrabCar for their premium luxury service.

Aside from the mu-X, he said the company also expects the Crosswind to be an option for Uber and GrabCar for their respective lower priced UberX and GrabCar vehicle service.

“I think our Crosswind might even be a choice because of its multi-purpose application,” he said.

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Sales of Isuzu Philippines reached 12,317 units in the first seven months of the year, 66 percent higher than the 7,441 units sold in the same period in 2014.

The company aims to hit record-high sales of 18,000 units this year.

Last year, sales of Isuzu Philippines recorded an all-time high of 14,134 units.

The online vehicle booking service apps are becoming popular as they offer a new mode of transport.

Amid demand for such ride-sharing apps, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board issued guidelines to accommodate the new services in May.

Under the guidelines, a Transportation Network Company (TNC) like Uber and GrabCar and their drivers would have to be accredited with the LTFRB to ensure accountability and passenger safety.

Uber secured its accreditation as a TNC earlier this week, while GrabCar’s application was approved in July.