Sales of Isuzu’s D-Max surged in 2007, spurred on by a healthy demand for the durable, reliable and fuel efficient pick-up trucks in the country especially in the East Malaysian market where over 60 percent of the sales were concentrated.
In only its second full year of operations, Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd chalked up sales of 2,855 units, up 47.24 percent from 2006, making the Isuzu D-Max the second most-popular pick up truck in the country with a 12.8 percent market share.
According to CEO of Isuzu Malaysia Kyoya Kondo, the Isuzu D-Max has been gaining in popularity because the it has lived up to its reputation for being a very versatile, efficient and surprisingly-refined vehicle.
“Our sales trend had been showing a healthy rise since we introduced the first D-Max in the later part of 2005 as customers began discovering how efficient and durable the D-Max really is. This steady demand for the vehicle gained further momentum in July last year when we introduced the 2007 version that included the 3-litre Super Commonrail model.
“The challenge was in keeping up with the strong demand for the vehicles and although we ramped up production in the plant, we were still dependent on the supply of components from our vendors as well,” said Kondo.
“Our production output has currently stabilized and we should be able to bring the waiting period down to within a month by April this year. Once our delivery schedules have been met, we should strengthen our market position for 2008,” added Kondo.
Isuzu’s sales continued to climb despite the soft market trend in 2006 and 2007 as customers acknowledge the fact that Isuzu is at the forefront of diesel technology and is one of the largest producers of diesel engines in the world having made over 20 million units since 1936. These engines are well known for its durability and efficiency and this was underlined last year when two Isuzu D-Max were driven a distance of over 1,500km from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur without needing to stop for fuel.
“We anticipate a similar trend for Isuzu vehicles in 2008 as fuel and commodity prices are expected to rise. We expect a further 40 percent growth in our sales as more customers discover that the Isuzu D-Max is very gentle on the pocket,” added Kondo.
Isuzu Malaysia has targeted to sell 4,000 units of the D-Max in 2008 through a stronger initiative to reach out to corporate and fleet purchasers, a segment that has remained vastly untapped by the company as it has focused primarily on dealer development thus far.