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The Isuzu brand has endeared itself to this writer: When my father decided to quit his eight-to-five job in 1983, he bought a passenger jeepney powered by a refurbished Isuzu C240 diesel engine sourced from Japan. That jeepney’s 4-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine was virtually indestructible as it kept on going for decades, supporting our family until every one of us graduated from college and had our own jobs.

Years later, when we “retired” our jeepney, we decided to have a mechanic look at it and asked if he could somehow revive the engine so we could transfer it to another part of our garage. We were all left in awe as the jeepney roared back to life right after the mechanic replaced or cleaned a couple of deteriorated and rusty parts.

This sort of experience is not exclusive to my family as others would also attest to the Isuzu diesel engine’s toughness: Even before Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) was formally established on July 31, 1997, the Isuzu brand already developed a reputation of being a partner for the long haul, enabling companies and even individuals to build successful businesses.

“IPC’s 25 years of existence in the automotive industry is founded on the loyalty and trust of our shareholders, business partners, and of course, our customers. As a result, Isuzu has established its name as the No. 1 truck brand in the Philippines. With more than 300,000 units sold since the start of its operations, IPC has consistently provided durable, reliable, and award-winning vehicles that serve as great companions to Filipinos and businesses,” said the newly-appointed president of IPC, Noboru Murakami during the company’s 25th anniversary program held at the SMX Convention in Pasay City,

Unparalleled experience, services

Murakami promised that IPC will continue to provide its unparalleled experience and services to its customers as well as make its products and services more accessible to more Filipinos. “We will keep on expanding our dealership networks—now close to 50 all over the Philippines—and at the same time, we will continue to upgrade our dealer facilities as well as enhance the skills of our people, both IPC team members and dealer personnel.”

These new Isuzu Outlet Standard-compliant facilities are set to contribute greatly to a more seamless automotive retail experience for both IPC customers and dealership personnel.

But beyond all these, IPC promised to continue to be a responsible partner in nation building and caring. Shojiro Sakoda, IPC EVP, related that the company did not hesitate in assisting communities, especially during difficult times. CSR initiatives During the pandemic, IPC initiated different CSR activities like donating food trucks and PPEs during the height of the pandemic, supporting various organization by giving vehicles that can help them in their operations, extensively supporting the project of Isuzu together with the World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) by providing free education to scholars pursuing career in automotive, and many more.

The WVDF and Isuzu Motors, Ltd. of Japan, in partnership with TESDA jointly manage the Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban City, an education-to-employment auto servicing training program offered to out-of-school youths in the Visayas. The program aims to equip trainees with auto servicing skills that would land them stable livelihoods after graduation.

To date, the program has produced more than 200 auto service technicians and mechanics. “Strengthening our contribution to society and community involvement, IPC will continue to conduct Free Driving Seminars and Health Check Reports to our customers nationwide. Aside from that, our continuous support to the Isuzu-TESDA Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban, our knowledge-sharing partnership with sponsored schools and various CSR activities all year round, cultivating the Isuzu DNA of volunteerism amongst its team members,” Sakoda promised.

He added: “As we celebrate our 25th year, we will aim to continue to be the responsible partner a Filipino can have. Since the beginning, our goal is more than just selling products to people. We have always wanted to serve a greater purpose in society, that’s how we came up with the tagline “Your Responsible Partner”.

Bigger responsibilities

For more than two decades, IPC has been the consistent number 1 truck brand in the country. And as such, the company believed it has a much bigger responsibility to continue to provide products and services that are aligned with its customer needs—offerings that would eventually contribute to the development of the industry and the economy.

As IPC looks forward to its next 25 years, the company is driving itself toward a more sustainable future. For this reason, IPC has realigned itself with a business process following the ESG perspective—Environment, Social, and Governance.

Currently, IPC is set to lay out the “Road to Progress” that envisions the company to “become the vital engine for the Philippine society on the road to progress towards a sustainable automotive chain” for the next 25 years and beyond.

Murakami explained: “The pandemic has changed the perspective and the way our customers do their businesses moving forward, and as their ‘Responsible Partner,’ Isuzu is up for the challenge in providing the market with new products developed with new technologies, making every upcoming Isuzu vehicles more durable, safer, fuel-efficient and environment friendly, perfect for their day-to-day operations.”

New energy source

Since January 2022, IPC has successfully shifted from sourcing energy from a coal power plant to renewable sources like the Bataan and Pampanga Solar Power plant. This resulted in the decrease of the company’s carbon emission by 855 tons by the end of June 2022.

IPC is also in the process of installing 4 zones of solar panels in its manufacturing plant in Laguna that will cover at least 22 percent of its electricity supply, once completed by September of this year.

All-in-all, this shift to renewable energy would decrease IPC plant’s carbon emission by around 1,780 tons annually, amounting to close to 50,000 tons of carbon emissions by the year 2050.

Certified with ISO:14001 for Environmental Management System, IPC continuously complies with government regulations on the proper disposal of wastewater and solid waste in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Laguna Lake Development Authority.

At the same time, IPC has been actively engaging with Isuzu Suppliers Association in order to decrease further the use of single-use plastics on its packaging and to develop a more sustainable supply chain in the next years to come.

Apart from adhering to the new Isuzu Outlet Standard, IPC’s dealerships nationwide are now encouraged to provide emergency generator systems that will not just power their dealerships during power outages but will also come in handy in supporting their neighboring communities during the time of calamities.

“Now, the road to progress may not be easy. Along the way, we may face some crossroads that may give us doubts. Or it may even be bumpy to test our strength and togetherness, but we are confident that with the support of our shareholders, employees, dealers, suppliers, and customers nationwide, the future of IPC looks bright ahead,” Murakami assured.

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