INDEPENDENT oil company Eastern Petroleum Corp. signed a deal with Russian firm GAZ Group to supply light commercial vehicles in the Philippines in line with the government’s fleet modernization program.
Under the agreement, Eastern Petroleum secured the rights to distribute and maintain GAZ’s light commercial vehicles, including the 17-seater Gazelle Next minibus and 20-seater Gazelle Next Cityline bus.
The Gazelle Next family is a line of light commercial vehicles equipped with diesel, gasoline, or gas engines. The line includes minibuses, trucks, utility vehicles, and vans.
Fernando Martinez, president and chief executive officer of Eastern Petroleum, and Christian Kremer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for GAZ Group, signed the accord last Tuesday on the sidelines of an international exhibition of commercial vehicles in Moscow.
Martinez said the tie-up enables them to aggressively participate in public transport modernization, which badly needs investments from the public and private sectors, as the GAZ Group offers modern solutions for transporting low-mobility citizens, fitting in with the social needs of the modernization program.
“The GAZ Group products fully comply with the environmental standards of the Philippines and also meet all requirements for comfort and safety,” he added.
Kremer, meanwhile, said the partnership will help them develop rapidly in the market and become a full participant in state programs for public transport renewal.
“The Philippine commercial vehicle market is growing by 30 percent annually and the large-scale Government Fleet Modernization Program begins in 2018,” he added.
The first phase of the fleet modernization program, to last until 2023, involves the replacement of more than 200,000 buses and the launch of over 150 new bus routes.
Eastern Petroleum, which has grown from a lubricants distributor to a full-fledged petroleum distribution and retail company since its establishment in 1997, is part of the Eastern Petroleum Group whose businesses include gasoline stations, industrial sales, and franchising.
GAZ Group is a diversified business group engaged in petroleum distribution, real estate development, and renewable energy that exports to over 40 countries across the globe.