Earlier in July we had reported about Isuzu’s intentions of setting up a facility in India to enter small commercial vehicle and utility vehicle segments. It seems that the Japanese car maker has put the plan on fast track and has already entered testing phase. Our friends at Team-bhp have spotted the Isuzu MU-7 SUV (also known as the Alterra) testing in India.
The MU-7 is a massive SUV with a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine producing 161bhp and 360Nm of torque. The seven-seater vehicle competes with the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Pajero Sport on price and looks even bigger than the SUVs in the segment. It will also be a sensible move to commence independent operations by entering premium SUV segment.
Isuzu currently operates in India as partner in SML-Isuzu – joint venture with Swaraj-Mazda and also supplies engines to HM Ambassador. The company plans to set up a green field facility for an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and is currently hunting for apt location. The facility is expected to have capacity of 1,00,000 to 1,20,000 units per annum and will also be used for vehicles like the D-Max pickup truck and a mini pickup truck in India.
The new plant will take a while and Isuzu might introduce the MU-7 next year as CBU, or even as a CKD through facility of one of their partners. We hope Isuzu makes an official announcement soon putting end to all the speculations.
Image courtesy: Team-bhp