Isuzu Motors is all set to inaugurate its new showroom in Delhi on May 30, 2014. The opening of the showroom will mark Isuzu’s expansion into North India, a region it expects will contribute 30 percent of pick-up sales in India. That could work out to quite a number, given that estimates suggest the market for pick-ups in India is likely to grow to 8,00,000 units over the next decade. For reference, sales for pick-ups stood at 2,00,000 units in 2013. While Isuzu does sell the MU-7 SUV in India, it is counting on its recently-launched D-Max line of pick-ups to bring in the majority of sales.
The opening of the Delhi showroom will be followed by the establishment of showrooms in Gurgaon, Noida, Jaipur, Jallandhar, Chandigarh and Ludhiana by March next year. In fact, Isuzu is working to expand its dealer count to 60 by the end of 2015-16. As of today, Isuzu has nine dealers spread across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Isuzu officials also confirmed work on the manufacturer’s upcoming Rs 3,000-crore plant at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, is on track with operations set to commence by 2016. The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 50,000 units that will eventually be scaled up to 1,20,000 units.
D-Max could get four-wheel drive
Speaking to Autocar India, Isuzu officials have said they are studying customer feedback and will take a decision on the introduction of a four-wheel-drive version of the D-Max in the coming months. The D-Max sold in India comes with only rear-wheel drive although a four-wheel-drive version is available in other markets.
Further down the road, Isuzu may also have the D-Max certified as a vehicle for personal use. In its current form, the D-Max can only be driven by holders of commercial vehicle licenses. But given that lifestyle-oriented buyers make up less than 2 percent of pick-up sales in India, we don’t expect Isuzu to be in a tearing hurry to bring out such a D-Max.