Isuzu Motors, Japanese global manufacturer of light commercial vehicles and utility vehicles, is planning to introduce a new multi-utility pickup truck within two-three months in the Indian market, Asias third largest economy.The late entrant is also looking at making India an export hub apart from tapping the growing domestic market.We will bring to India our globally proven and successful Isuzu D-Max Space cab in next two-three months, Takashi Kikuchi, president and managing director at Isuzu Motors India told Financial Chronicle. The new cab is targeted at the owner driven pickup segment. The businessman who drives his own pickup truck is fast emerging segment in India and also use it as his multi-utility vehicle. We want to aggressively tap this segment, Kikuchi said.With a specially built-in cabin space of 1.5 feet behind the drivers seat, the new vehicles offers multi-utility capability to the pickup truck, he said.
The vehicle, which will be brought in through completely knocked down (CKD) kit from Thailand, will be assembled at the Hindustan Motors facility at Thiruvallur, Chennai,Kikuchi said. Powered by 2.5 litre diesel, which offers maximum power of 100 kw power at 3,600 rpm, the new cab offers unmatched fuel efficiency and reliability, he said.Isuzu is known for building tough, durable and long lasting vehicles and the new D-Max carries these genes to Indian market, Kikuchi said.He said in India, the pickup truck segment was one of the largest and fastest growing segments in commercial vehicles (CV), accounting for 35 per cent of the total CV market.With the growth in the Indian economy and the resulting pickup truck market dynamics, we estimate India to be the worlds largest 1 trillion pickup market by 2023, Kikuchi said.The company is setting up a greenfield manufacturing facility in the Sri City industrial park in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.
We will start with an initial capacity of manufacturing 50,000 units per year, Kikuchi said. The facility will go on-stream in early 2016, he said, adding that the capacity will be ramped upto 1.20 lakh units as per the demand.India will also be an export hub for Isuzu. We will target neighbouring countries such as South Asia and Africa, Kikuchi said. At present, the company exports 60 per cent of its production from Japan, he said.The company at present assembles its D-max pick single cab and sports utility vehicle (SUV) MU-7 at Hindustan Motors plant under a contract manufacturing agreement. It has a capacity of manufacturing 5,000 units per year.Auto analysts said the new Isuzu D-Max Space cab is likely to be priced in the Rs 7-50 to Rs 8.50 lakh range. The D-max pick single cab available in two options costs Rs 6.60 lakh while SUV MU-7 in Eco and Hi variants are sold in the Rs 24 to Rs 25.40 lakh price range at Chennai showroom.