Hyderabad: Japanese automaker Isuzu Motors, which Tuesday launched Isuzu mu-X, eyes 40% growth in volumes during the current financial year in India.
Ken Takashima, Executive Vice President and Deputy Managing Director, Isuzu Motors India Private Limited, told reporters that during 2017-18, Isuzu sold 5,000 units in India, thus doubling the sales compared to the previous year.
“We are looking at 40 per cent increase in volumes during 2018-19. As we have finished half of this fiscal year, we are on track to achieve this growth,” he said.
Isuzu’s first India manufacturing plant which came up Andhra Pradesh and Abecame operational in 2016-17, is driving the sales. This plant has installed capacity of 25,000 units per year.
While Isuzu’s emphasis is on domestic market, it has already started exports to Nepal and Bhutan. The company is looking to exports both passenger and commercial vehicles to several countries from its plant at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.
He said Isuzu had announced Rs 3,000 crore investment for the plant and it had so far invested 60 percent of this. The remaining will be done in further improving the capacity and upgrading the products, he said.
Stating that Isuzu is only five year old in India, he said the company would continue to brush up the current lineup to meet customers’ needs. “The variation will be based on current lineup,” he said while refusing to specify the plans for new models.
Isuzu currently sells popular D-MAX V-Cross, India’s first adventure utility vehicle and mu-X, premium 7-seater SUV in the personal vehicle segment and variants of AD-MAX pick-ups for the commercial segment.
While Isuzu is known for selling its engines to manufacturer in other markets, Takashima said their focus in India, for now, would remain on selling vehicles.
He said the company would like to have balance between passenger and commercial vehicles. Though it is slightly strong in commercial segment, with V-Cross it introduced a sew segment in passenger vehicles.
Isuzu has 37 dealers in India and the 38th outlet is going to be opened at Pune this week. He said they would be selective in choosing the partners.
Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who is the lifestyle ambassador of Isuzu in India, drove the new mu-X with his family at the launch event held at Taj Falaknuma on Tuesday night.
The new mu-X projects a more aggressive stance with its Eagle-inspired styling and refreshed design at both front and rear. It comes with sportier ‘Lava Black’ premium interior upholstery and fine quilted leather seats, in the 7-seater, full-size, premium SUV segment in India. Its enhanced safety features including six airbags and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
The new mu-X is available at Rs.A26,26,842 for the 4×2 variant and Rs.28,22,959 for 4X4 variant. Both prices are ex-showroom, Hyderabad.