A few months ago, we got confirmation that Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is bringing back the Lite Ace nameplate as a light commercial vehicle (LCV). With its debut expected within the next month, we expect Lite Ace models to already be here in the Philippines, and it seems they have been busy doing evaluation tests.
We received a photo from an insider (with their blessing) showing the LCV supposedly at TMP's Sta. Rosa plant in Laguna. From the looks of it, the Lite Ace may be going through its initial testing phase.
As you can see in the photos, the Lite Ace is wearing two different body configurations. The first one has a shuttle body that can be used as a people mover. On the other hand, the second Lite Ace is in a closed van configuration, which is more suited for hauling cargo.
In addition, we may also see the Lite Ace offered in the bare cab and chassis form as well as a dropside version that will be of good use for many owners of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Following Indonesian market specifications, the PH market Lite Ace may be launched with either a 1.3-liter or even the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine from the Avanza and the Veloz. The Lite Ace sharing the same powerplant with existing Toyota models does make sense in terms of costs and spare parts availability.
Once it is officially launched, the Toyota Lite Ace will directly compete against the Suzuki Carry in the A-segment Commercial Vehicle (A-CV) class and is expected to be priced cheaper than the bigger Hilux cab and chassis.