Base models will cost below PhP 1 million

In the last couple of months AC Motors, Ayala's automotive arm, has been busy fanning the flames about their next new model: the T60 pick-up truck.

The T60 is manufactured by Maxus, which is under the banner of Shanghai Auto, or SAIC. The Chinese-made T60 would be competing against the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Strada, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Nissan Navara, and has been produced since 2016.

Maxus hasn't released any official details of the T60, but foreign versions (including models marketed in Australia that scored 5-stars during ANCAP crash tests) can come with either a 2.8-liter turbodiesel with 136 PS and 360 Nm of torque, or a more powerful 2.0-liter twin turbo diesel engine that has 214 PS and 480 Nm of torque. 4X2 and 4x4 drivetrain models are available in other countries, per the norm. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, or 6-speed automatic.

As far as we know, this will be the first time that AC Motors will be marketing a pick-up truck on their own as a distributor, unless we consider the D-Max pick-up truck since Ayala owns part of Isuzu along with a few dealers.

But what we've been keen on finding out, especially since AC Motors has been rather quiet about the details, are the variants and the pricing. Now we can answer it... sort of.

Maxus T60 PH image

According to a source privy to the plans of Maxus in the Philippines, they intend to launch three variants of the T60 pick-up: the T60 4x2 MT, the T60 4x2 AT, and the T60 4x4 AT. The details of which models will have which engines and transmissions haven't been divulged, but at least we'll know that the AT models will be 6-speeds.

We cannot be certain what features the vehicles will have, but we expect - per the norm with Chinese-market models made available in the Philippines - that these variants will exceed the typical list of features found in competitor models.

The pricing strategy will be as follows according to our source: the Maxus T60 4x2 MT will be priced below PhP 1 million, the Maxus T60 4x2 AT will be under PhP 1.1 million, and the Maxus T60 4x4 AT will be just under PhP 1.35 million.

Unfortunately our contact did not give us exact numbers. We'll venture a few guesses about the exact SRP, and say that given the limited information, we expect Maxus to offer the base T60 for around PhP 988,000, the mid-grade model at PhP 1,088,000, and the top of the line 4x4 model should be around PhP 1,338,000. Those are just our estimates in order to come up with nice, round numbers.

The crucial part will be the price of the base model, as base variants of models like the T60 will be used as workhorses on farms, jobsites, and the like, and pricing low is critical in such a competitive segment. The price of models such as the Hilux and Navara are at PhP 939,000 and PhP 929,000 respectively. We asked if the price of the base model will be lower than the Toyota and the Nissan, but the answer we got is no. The T60 will not be undercutting those models, which we found to be strange. 

Maxus will supposedly also focus on provincial dealers given the intended purpose of these pick-ups, and the company is still looking to expand its dealer network outside of the major metropolitan areas. 

What do you think of the Ayala's pricing strategy for the Maxus T60?