Tata aims to penetrate the Philippine commercial vehicle market with the introduction of their truck lineup in the local market. Pilipinas Taj Autogroup Inc., the official distributor of Tata Commercial Vehicles in the Philippines, headlined the launch with the roll-out of the Prima heavy truck line, as well as the rest of the brand's CV range.
"(The) Philippines is one of our key markets in Southeast Asia and we are delighted to be a part of one of the fastest growing ASEAN nations," said Rudrarup Maitra, head of international business, Tata Commercial Vehicles. Aside from the Prima, also presented were the SFC 407 and its Jeepney Concept counterpart, the LPT trucks, Starbus range, as well as the Ace and Super Ace in various configurations. More significantly, the Starbus line is built in the Philippines.
The locally-built Starbus range consists of the LP 613 and the larger LPO 1618. The LP 618 offers seating for 24 to 28 passengers and is available in air-conditioned and non-airconditioned variants. It is powered by a 5.6-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel plus a fuel tank capacity of 120 liters. As for the LPO 1618, Tata describes it as a bus well suited for long hauls. Powering the brand's largest bus is a 5.8-liter Cummins turbodiesel which is then mated to a six-speed manual. With long distance travel in mind, the fuel tank has a capacity of 350 liters. Tata did not mention the seating capacity but is likely to vary upon the customer's demand.
Back to the Prima range, it is available in two specifications, namely the 6038 6x4 and the 4438 4x2. Both are powered by a six-cylinder, 8.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. Power output is rated at 375 PS for both the 6x4 and 4x2 while torque ratings differ depending on the wheel configuration. The 6x4 pulls in at 1,150 Nm while the 4x2 pushes out 1,550 Nm of torque. Maximum Gross Carrying Weight for these trucks are rated at 60,000 kilograms and 40,000 kilograms for six-wheel and four-wheel versions respectively.
The Prima trucks also feature a double sleeper berth with air-conditioning plus a tilt and telescopically adjustable steering wheel. To reduce driver fatigue, the seat features air suspension plus a motorized tiltable cabin. Tata says the Prima 6038 6x4 is best suited for carrying heavy containers, machinery and other heavy duty applications. Meanwhile, the Prima 4438 4x2 can be used for container transportation, tanker duties, car carriers and beverage distribution.