After importing World War II surplus jeeps from Europe and Japan, MD Juan diversifies into manufacturing of restoration parts for vintage vehicles

Overlanding has become even more popular during these times of the pandemic

By Tina Arceo-Dumlao, Business Editor

Fears of catching the dreaded COVID-19 virus in enclosed spaces such as an airplane cabin have prompted many Americans to scratch their travel itch by getting into their vehicles and exploring the great outdoors.

This trend that emerged over the past two years – when the world struggled to get the COVID-19 spread under control – has been a boon to MD Juan Enterprises.

MD Juan is the pioneer in producing machine-pressed metal parts for both military and civilian jeeps in the Philippines. It recently diversified into the production of 4×4 automotive accessories for the Americans looking to soup up their modern Jeeps for “overlanding.”

MD Juan CEO Rommel Juan

MD Juan CEO Rommel Juan explains that overlanding is a new hobby that combines off roading with camping. It was embraced by many Americans who were eager to break free of quarantine measures that were necessary to control the spread of the COVID-19.

Juan says MD Juan, which was established in March 1967 by his grandfather, Maximino, was able to serve this new need because it listened closely to its customers with whom the company has had a long and fruitful relationship.

It was this relationship that enabled MD Juan, which was also hit hard by the lingering pandemic that cut its supply and export chain, to cope and expand its product lineup to include bumpers, roll bars, side bars and even trailers for 4x4s, thus better serving its market.

MD Juan has consequently done better in 2021 than last year as it adjusted to the “new normal.”

“As we are an export company, we experienced difficulties because of the worldwide shipping problem. But we were able to adjust this year by talking and planning with our cusotmers,” Juan said.

He shared that the core business of exporting restoration parts for vintage jeeps – primarily those that figured in World War II – also saw more customers in 2021 as more Americans started restoration projects in their homes instead of going on vacations.

A restored World War II surplus jeep

M.D. Juan is the leader in this niche thanks to the vision of Maximino who saw the need for a rugged, light vehicle in the country.

Initially, he imported World War II surplus jeeps from Europe and Japan. Later, MD Juan ventured into manufacturing.

Filipino jeep lovers either refurbished their old jeeps using MD Juan parts, which were also sent to the United States, where many enthusiasts still drive or take care of their vintage jeeps.

Juan says that shipping to the United States, its major export market, remains a challenge because of shipping constraints.

Nevertheless, MD Juan has forged ahead, conquering the peaks and valleys and twists and turns of business, just like the hardy jeep around which it has built its beloved enterprise.