Isuzu has been around in the country for almost half a decade now. Their current portfolio consists of a lifestyle pickup called the V-Cross, two commercial pick-ups under the name of D-Max and the recently introduced MU-X facelift. The MU-X is a full-size SUV which enters into a competition against the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. Although it undercuts the well-established rivals, it doesn’t really set the sales chart on fire. So what Isuzu India really needs is a small-size SUV which can bring in the volumes while catering to an SUV hungry country like ours.
According to reports, the Japanese carmaker is already developing a smaller SUV but its entry into the Indian market is still under contemplation. The SUV trend in the country is at an all-time high and will remain the same for the next few years, at least. Isuzu can cash into this by introducing more affordable UVs in the country in the same fashion as Mahindra. The sub-four metre SUVs and compact crossovers are selling like hot cakes and Isuzu can grab the opportunity by introducing smaller SUVs in the same league as the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza or the slightly bigger Hyundai Creta.
Given the segment shift in the Indian car market (you can read about it over here) car buyers are moving up a segment. So if Isuzu has a smaller SUV in that part of the market, instead of just selling one full-size SUV in a low volume segment, they can garner the attention of a large portion of Indian car buyers. Moreover, they already have an SUV heritage to draw upon for their smaller SUVs.
Additionally, Isuzu’s manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh was built with an initial capacity of manufacturing 50,000 units per year. But the MU-X currently takes a CKD route to India. So Isuzu is fairly capable of locally producing its products in India and could even export it to international markets. This localization would help Isuzu keep the cost down for their future products, which can also be produced according to international standards.
Isuzu has already doubled its domestic sales in the last fiscal year, selling around 5000 units in the Indian car market. Going further, the smaller SUVs can help the Japanese SUV-maker in achieving its plans of selling around 7,000-8,000 units in the next fiscal year. Isuzu has already hinted at a volume product during its last press conference. Now, we just hope they are quick enough to cash in on the opportunity!