SAIC Maxus Automotive Co., Ltd. on Thursday launched a Persons With Disability-friendly (PWD) variant of the Maxus G10.

The company expects to sell three to five units of the Maxus G10 Assist per month, as part of the 12-month overall target of 500 to 600 vehicle sales since they launched in the country in June.

“This is a niche market so right now there’s no car brand that currently offers it,” said Maxus General Manager Reginald G. See at an interview after the launch. “The reason why we launched is to let the public know that this is available, and that they get it from us.”

The Maxus G10 is a nine-seater multipurpose vehicle equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with Bluetooth, a six-speaker system, a 220-volt power supply, and front and rear air-conditioning.

For PWDs and the elderly, the car has an added programmable swivel lifting seat that can be operated via remote control or mobile app. The swivel chair shifts to face the sidewalk and down to street level, then lifts the passenger into the vehicle.

It has position memory function, path recover function, path obstacle sensor, door interlock, low-power detection and warning, mechanical manual function, and anti-tip protection.

The G10 has a P1.68 million price tag, with an additional P399,800 for the Assist device.

“A conventional van, MPV, SUV, or sedan usually is not equipped to accommodate PWDs and their wheelchairs, which presents travel challenges. Boarding and disembarking them from their vehicles take considerable time and effort and these limitations further diminish their travel options,” Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. President Felipe P. Estrella III said in his speech during the launch.

Mr. See said that the G10 Assist presents PWDs with travel options.

“It’s really how we feel — that the Filipino family would want to bring each and every family member when they go out of town. So I’m sure some of PWDs might be left behind because there’s no easy way for them to travel. That’s why we came up with this variant of the Maxus G10,” he said. — Jenina P. Ibañez