As one era comes to an end for Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) with the phase-out of its beloved Crosswind by next year, a new one also opens up for the Japanese automaker.

IPC is stepping forward to partner with the government in its effort to upgrade public utility jeepneys (PUJs), as part and parcel of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.

The void created by the Crosswind gives IPC the chance to assemble the PUJs that meet the administration’s modernization program - safer, more reliable and efficient, and environmentally-friendly.

According to IPC president and Chief Executive Officer Hajime Koso, the automaker currently has a ‘next-generation jeepney prototype’ that will be submitted to the current administration this month for approval.

Key factors for IPC will be the type of incentives that the government can provide in order to support the production of these Isuzu-branded PUJs under the modernization program.

Koso is hoping that the incentives can be similar to the what participants of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program are getting - giving fixed investments incentives, incentives on tooling, and subsidizing certain portion of the production.

The government’s PUV Modernization Program expects to phase-out some 200,000 PUJs for next-generation PUJs that will be safer to use for commuters while also being more eco-friendly.