Isuzu has launched the D-Max pickup truck and MU-7 SUV for the Indian market. It will sell all variants of both these vehicles on a trail basis via two new dealerships in Hyderabad and Coimbatore of which the latter is yet to be opened.
In an interview with the Hindu Businessline, Shigeru Wakabayashi, deputy managing director, Isuzu said that the Indian market was where the Chinese car market was 10 years ago but would grow much faster as it has much more potential.
He said that the move to open dealerships in only Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh was a part of the pilot phase and that it would allow the company to assess the market as well as expand its business. Isuzu plans also to ultimately enter the LCV and pick-up market. It feels that the demand for such vehicles is expected to increase significantly once the need for faster delivery of goods between major cities and towns increases.
For now, the vehicles will imported via the CBU route from Thailand but Isuzu is likely to build a manufacturing facility at the Sri City Township located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. They plan to roll out one-lakh units a year and employ at least 2000 people directly.
In the long term, it would be an advantage for Isuzu to setup a manufacturing plant in India as SUV’s are quite popular in the Indian sub-continent. Also the Japanese car maker is already present in India through various partnerships like the SML Isuzu and Swaraj Mazda. Even the Chevy Tavera is basically an Isuzu Panther. The manufacturing cost in India is relatively and Isuzu can also consider exporting vehicles from here.
Prices for the Isuzu vehicles
Isuzu MU-7 SUV – Rs 23.75 lakh (ex-showroom Hyderabad)
Isuzu D-Max space cab- Rs 8.09 lakh (ex-showroom Hyderabad)
Source: Hindu Businessline