It's official: a new player has arrived in the country and they will be serving up a wide array of commercial vehicles and trucks. Say hello to GAZ, Russia's no.1 commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Operating under local distributor Gazelle Motors Corporation, a subsidiary of Eastern Petroleum Group, the company will be selling their line of Gazelle Next commercial vans and mini-buses, as well as light-, medium- and heavy duty trucks. GAZ aims to provide vehicle solutions not only to the private sector, but also to public utilitiy transport companies as well.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

“The start of sales of multi-functional, reliable and eco-friendly Gazelle Next minibuses is the first stage of our entry to the Philippine market. I am sure that together with such a strong partner as Gazelle Motors Corp., we will be able to quickly and confidently develop in this market,” said Christian Kramer, SVP for Sales and Marketing of GAZ Group.

Serving as their passenger vehicle offering is the Gazelle Next Light Commercial Van. It measures 6415mm long, 1750mm wide, 2837mm tall and has a 3745mm wheelbase. It comes with individual seating for 17 passengers and has a high-roof configuration for a more comfortable ride. Standard features present include a touchscreen infotainment system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, auto-retractable step board and cruise control.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

There is also a panel van version of the Gazelle Next. It can seat three and has a gross weight of 3500 kg (curb weight is at 2430 kg). It has an axial load of 1325 kg at the front and 2175 kg at the rear.

A mini-bus version called the Gazelle Next Citiline will also be available. It can seat 19 (including the driver) and measures 6088mm long, 1750mm wide and 2720mm tall. It has a mechanized door that can open with a push of a button and comes with stop request buttons for the passengers.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

Powering most of GAZ's commercial vehicles is a 2.8-liter ISF turbo-diesel engine from Cummins. Depending on the model chosen, the turbo-diesel mill is available in various output ratings. The GAZ Next Light Commerial and Panel vans generate 150 PS at 3400 rpm along with 330 Nm of torque at 1800 – 2800 rpm. As for the Citiline mini-bus, the engine puts out 120 PS at 3200 rpm and 295 Nm of torque at 1600 – 2700 rpm.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

For those that prefer a gasoline or liquified petroleum gas-(LPG) powertrain, GAZ is offering such an engine for the Next LCV and Citiline bus. It displaces 2.7-liters and can run on either LPG or gasoline. When fed with the former, the motor produces 104 PS at 4000 rpm and 219 Nm of torque at 2200 – 2500 rpm. Meanwhile, the latter puts out 107 PS at 4000 rpm with 220 Nm of torque at 2200 – 2500 rpm. All models come with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

Need a light duty truck? The Next Chassis can also be configurated as such and is also powered by the familiar Cummins engine. It puts out 120 PS at 3600 rpm and 270 Nm at 1400 – 3000 rpm. There is also a medium duty truck version which is powered by an in-house developed turbo-diesel that displaces 4.4-liters. It produces 109 PS at 2300 rpm along with a massive 490 Nm of torque at 1200 – 2100 rpm.

“Finally, the Philippines will benefit from advanced technoloy from Russia with respect to reliable and competitively-priced vehicles. Thanks to the aggressive economic diplomacy of President Rodrigo Duterte with his historic visit to Russia, which paved the way to this partnership,” said Fernando Martinez, Chairman and CEO of Gazelle Motors Corporation.

Russian truck brand GAZ now available in the Philippines

Sales and after-sales operations of GAZ vehicles will be provided by 5 dealer centers under Gazelle Motors Corporation. A network of 35 fully-trained and accredited aftersales service centers throughout the country will be provided by local partner companies – Rapide and Payless.

Gazelle Motors Corporation will be present at this year's Manila International Auto Show to showcase their entire lineup of commercial vans and trucks.