Isuzu Motors will market its D-max pick-ups primarily as owner-driven utility vehicles in rural areas. The company’s strategy varies from that of Tata Motors and Mahindra, which marketed their respective Xenon and Getaway pick-ups as lifestyle vehicles for urban consumers.
“A majority of transport business owners drive their vehicles themselves and we would like to provide these businessmen with vehicles that offer far superior performance, safety and comfort as well as the prestige of a larger vehicle” said Shigeru Wakabayashi, deputy managing director, Isuzu Motors India.
Addressing the concern towards the declining demand for diesel vehicles he added, “The diminishing disparity between diesel and petrol prices will affect mostly the small car segment. Pick-up trucks and large SUVs benefit from diesel’s power, ruggedness and better fuel economy and hence is the preferred fuel for this segment.” Regarding the expansion of its portfolio, Takashi Kikuchi, President and MD, Isuzu Motors India mentioned, “We do not have any plans of tapping into the compact SUV segment and are not planning on bringing in any products below the D-Max pickup.”
The company conducted the ground-breaking ceremony of its new plant at SriCity near Hyderabad, on January 27 this year. In its first phase of operation, the plant will produce 50,000 units per year and will have a production capacity of 1,20,000 units a year once fully operational. Isuzu Motors acquired the land in 2013 after it inked an MoU with the AP government. The Japanese manufacturer will invest about Rs 3,000 crore in the new facility, which is expected to create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. It is understood that the AP government will offer some incentives in terms of power tariffs to help the manufacturer keep its products competitive.