Saturday, October 27, 2018

Centro Manufacturing, Nippon Fruehauf to Build Refrigerated Truck Bodies in Philippines


Centro Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s leading truck body builder has recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Nippon Fruehauf to locally manufacturer insulated sandwich panels as well as locally assemble and install ref van bodies on local truck platforms.

Signed at the Philippine International Motor Show, Centro showed off four new vehicles, three of which are the results of Centro’s partnership with Nippon Fruehauf.

“We are formally introducing a 20-footer version of the NF wing van, a 7-footer reefer van mounted on a pickup truck, a 10-footer reefer van on a light truck and our Modern PUV Class 2, Gen 2. For PIMS 2018, they are all mounted on Isuzu platforms. Needless to say, all four are pace-setting Japanese products that our company will locally manufacture and assemble using Japanese materials, technology, process and quality standards,” says Rommel Juan, Centro VP for Sales & Marketing.

Hiroyasu Hiruma, President of Nippon Fruehauf Japan says that they are bullish with the Philippine logistics industry which is expected to grow by 12.3 percent from 2015 to 2020. “Centro and Nippon Fruehauf are ready to support this growth with vehicle solutions. And when the Duterte Administration finishes the various bridges that will interconnect Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao, that will further spur the overland transport of goods using either cargo vans, wing vans or refrigerated vans”.

Juan reveals that the initial investment will P 100 million for the first year to put up the basic plant with manufacturing facilities and the assembly line for ref van assembly and installation. “But with the projected plant expansions and new products, we expect to spend a total of P 500 million over the next five years.”


The 20-footer NF wing van will be the shorter version of the 32-footer wing van, the most popular wing van in Japan. It will be ultralight as it will be made of 100 percent aluminum panels. It will be powered by a hydraulic system, also from Japan and was originally designed to fit an Isuzu FRR truck platform.


The two ref van versions will have insulated sandwich panels using aluminum composite panels for the outer and inner skins but instead of the usual injected polyurethane insulation, it will use the new extruded polystyrene insulation. This XPS insulation material is less vulnerable to water absorption, making it durable, long-lasting, and easier to maintain. They will have an operating temperature of -18 degrees Celsius to +5 degrees Celsius. The 10-footer version for the light truck even has a sliding side door on the curb side that will enable it to have two compartments for two different applications, like a combination of freezer and chiller.


In the area of mass transport, Juan is excited that Centro is participating in the government’s PUV Modernization Program with various modern PUV versions for the different truck platform suppliers. “It is a captive market with some 200,000 PUJs going to be upgraded during the next six years. And Centro is ready for it. We have on display at PIMS 2018 our version of the Modern PUV Class 2, Gen 2 using the Isuzu QKR light truck platform to show for it.”

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