We are always updated on the prices of new vehicle models but many, if not most of us are not aware of the price of the most important vehicle here in the Philippines – the jeepney.
With the government’s plan to modernize public transportation, especially the jeepney, we will examine how much is the real cost of the newly-assembled jeepney compared to the government-endorsed e-jeepneys of P1.2 to P1.6 million.
As an auto-repair shop owner that caters to dozens of jeepneys every day in Lipa-Calamba route, I am dealing with all types of jeepneys every day.
Jeepneys are fully assembled and manufactured inside the Philippines.
Before there were Sarao Motors and other popular brands like Lawin, Armak, Malagueña, Celestial, Laceta, Melford, Morales, Marquez, and many more, but the number of these builders was cut into almost half due to lower demands.
Here in Batangas, the most popular jeepney assemblers are found in Lipa City and in Rosario town.
A newly-assembled jeepney consists of all brand new materials except for the engine, which is usually a Japan surplus, or a used engine provided by the owner. Some owners provide whole or part of the chassis of their old jeepney.
But assuming that everything is new and nothing is provided by the owner, an assembly shop in Rosario can assemble the whole jeepney in 45 to 60 days.
A 20+2 seater road-ready jeepney with 75% stainless body and a 4BC2 Isuzu engine, would cost around P850,000 to P900,000. A 24+2 seater with the same body material would cost around P1M.
When we say 75% stainless, the jeep’s whole body except for the chassis and roof, is made of stainless steel.
If the owner wants to have a galvanized iron (GI) jeepney body, the cost would be lower at around P650,000 to P700,000 including the paint job, stickers, and other body designs.
Most owners nowadays prefer stainless steel because aside from its durability, the jeepney needed no paint job except for the roof, which has a colour-coding here in Batangas. I don’t know about Metro Manila jeepneys as I mostly see painted, rather than stainless-made jeeps.
A newly-assembled P900,000 stainless steel jeepney could last 30 years and beyond. The durability of the Philippine-assembled jeepneys is unparalleled compared to those imported vehicles because local assemblers always use durable and above-standard materials, especially the under-chassis parts.
I don’t know if the people in DOTR have any idea what “straight Isuzu means”, as this is the most sought-after under-chassis settings by jeepney operators and drivers.
An e-jeepney worth P1.6 million will be lucky to last 10 years, especially in Metro Manila where a brand new taxi could suffer all scratches and dents in just a few months.