It's no secret that the Philippines is a market where SUVs -particularly pick-up platform passenger vehicles (PPVs)- are very well received.
Our inside source involved with the production and development of the new generation Ford Everest has just relayed some interesting information for us, particularly with regards to how important the Philippines is for the SUV.
Talking exclusively to AutoIndustriya.com, our source says that there are 900 Everests already built and awaiting delivery at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant in Rayong, Thailand. According to our contact, they are just awaiting for the final OK to release and ship the units.
“Based on our marketing planning schedules, Philippines is the biggest market for the Everest in the region,” said our insider who indicated that the ratio of left hand drive units vis-a-vis right hand drive units is significantly higher than with any unit prior.
AAT manufactures vehicles for all of ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand and smaller markets in the Asia Pacific region. Of those countries only the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are left hand drive. The Philippines has the largest sales volume out of those 4 LHD markets.
As an indicator for the market response for the Everest, when Ford Thailand launched the SUV for the Thai market during the 2015 Bangkok International Motor Show in March, they were able to garner 3,000 reservations. In comparison, Ford Philippines announced the prices for Everest on May 19 and already the reservation list is at 1,500 customers and counting.
“We have to keep our biggest market happy,” continued the insider. “That is probably why we are building so many of the Everest for the Philippines right now.”
Ford's presence and volume in the Philippine market has grown significantly over the past few years, following the introduction of new generation models.
AutoIndustriya.com was also told that the updated 2015 Ford Ranger, which will be launched in the Philippine market sometime mid to late August, will be greatly improved.
“The 2015 Ranger will shock more as people are only expecting a new grill. The ride and NVH are huge improvements,” concluded our source.