JMC Grand Avenue: F-150, Jr.?

Automotive distributor Astara is on a roll in the Philippines.

They’ve got a good brand in GAC which is on the up and up given the new wave of attractively priced, neatly designed, and cleverly engineered and specced models. They’ve also got Peugeot which, while not as noisy lately, is still a solid brand to offer in the market.

JMC Grand Avenue PH image

This year, however, they added a third into their portfolio: JMC.

JMC or Jiangling Motors Corporation is not a new one in the Philippine market. Actually, we have quite a bit of experience with their products, as we drove the JMC Orion -an SUV assembled in the Philippines- around 10 years ago. They also have a wide range of commercial vehicles and trucks that are being sold at affordable prices. We don’t even have to go any further: just look at the Ford Territory. That’s a product of Ford’s joint venture with JMC in China.

So they do have a footprint here, albeit only in the commercial vehicle sector with another distributor. What Astara aims to do is offer the pick-up truck range of JMC into the Philippines, and they’ve appointed a very familiar executive to lead the brand: Arlan Reyes.

2024 Grand Avenue: JMC wants to launch this in PH image

A true car enthusiast, he brings with him decades of experience marketing Mitsubishi vehicles; something that will be key for the JMC brand (and Peugeot) moving forward. His task will be to offer good models and build a dealer network that customers will trust.

So what will they launch? The first -and probably the most key- is the JMC Vigus Work. This double cab pick-up truck will be truly meant to work. It will be aimed at MSMEs and will start at around PHP 950k to around PHP 1.1 million.

2024 Grand Avenue: JMC wants to launch this in PH image

The top-spec variant will likely be a 4x4 but with a manual transmission. They seem to be getting feedback from their prospective dealers regarding the variants, and from what we understand, JMC plans to offer a version of the Vigus Work in a 4x2 with an automatic. The dealer feedback indicates that such a variant will be a strong seller given the requests from their other brands.

The other vehicle is definitely interesting for those looking for a more lifestyle truck: it’s the JMC Grand Avenue.

JMC Grand Avenue PH image

This truck does bear a striking resemblance to the F-150, albeit a little smaller but definitely much bigger than its competitors: it’s almost 5.5 meters long and 1.93 meters wide. This truck can dwarf a lot of the offerings in the market right now as most are around 5.1 to 5.2 meters long.

JMC Grand Avenue PH image

We expect a lot of features depending on the variant, but what we know is it will have a 2.3L turbo diesel engine that is based on the Puma engine from Ford. In other markets, it makes about 174 PS and 445 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic with either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains.

JMC Grand Avenue PH image

The pricing for the Grand Avenue will range from about PHP 1.3 million to around PHP 1.5 million. We shall see how JMC does with these models once they are launched in the market.