The shuttle van is an alternative investment option for OFWs

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Marjorie Gorospe

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – With an initial investment of less than P200,000, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can purchase a vehicle and turn it into a business that promises monthly income.

Elizabeth Lee, vice-president of Universal Motors Corp. (UMC), thinks of a van as more than just a family vehicle. Her company, the local distributor for Nissan, started a program in 2006 called ‘Ur Van Ur Business’, which promotes the Nissan Urvan as a potential source of income instead of simply a family vehicle.

Shuttle vans have become a popular mode of transport that serve commuters coming from remote points to commercial areas like Makati and Ortigas business districts. Aside from comfort, shuttles also lessen the number of “rides” a passenger would otherwise need to take to reach his or her destination.

When Nissan launched this program, Lee said the goal is for customers to embrace the entrepreneur mindset.

Angel de Leon, Nissan Mantrade’s customer relations unit officer, says a starting entrepreneur can  purchase a Nissan Urvan with an initial payment of  P192,000 and begin turning it into a shuttle business.

Lee said UMC sells an average of 150 Urvan units a month, or more than double the number it was selling prior to the program, according to an article posted on With 6,000 Urvans sold, the company said this has created an additional income source for more than 3,000 families.

Phase 2 of the program is targeted more towards OFWs while Phase 3 involves education “Urvanites”, a term coined referring to Urvan owners.

“From making it a shuttle service instead of personal use, the owner can already recover from the monthly amortization because of the payment they can get from renting the car, for example. It may also be flexible to carpool, cargo van, van rental, ambulance and the control is in the hands of the owner,” says de Leon.

Basically, the goal is to give OFWs another investment option so that once they decide to retire from working overseas, they still reap the fruit of their remittances.

Those interested about the Nissan Urvan program can call Nissan Mantrade at (02)843-8011 local 235 or visit their office located at the Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Photo courtesy of Nissan Mantrade.

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mario a. duguran says:

good day….. i want to know more about this Nissan Urvan program for OFW’s …..pede po bang bigyan nyo ko idea abut this…so i can share to my ofw friend ..ty