Isuzu launches multi-utility pickup truck

Japanese auto maker Isuzu Motors today launched a multi-utility pickup truck targeting small and medium entrepreneurs, which will be priced in the range of Rs 7-8 lakh.

The company, which unveiled 'Isuzu D-Max Space Cab', will assemble the vehicle at the Hindustan Motors facility in Tamil Nadu in the next few months.

"In India, the pick-up truck segment is one of the largest and fastest growing segments in commercial vehicle accounting 35 per cent of the total commercial vehicle markets.

"With the growth in the Indian economy, We estimate India to be the world's largest pick- up truck market by 2023," Isuzu Motors India President and Managing Director Takashi Kikuchi said here while launching the truck at the 12th auto expo.

The vehicle which will be powered by 2.5 litre diesel engine will be available in the company's showrooms across the country including Delhi.

Currently, the firm has nine dealerships, which it aims to take it to 60 by 2016.

Kikuchi said that cargo and equipment like power tools, hardware and electronics, perishable cargo can be safely carried in the vehicle.

Besides, the Japanese firm also showcased its sports utility vehicle MU-7 and pickup truck D-Max here.

Isuzu Motors has already started the construction work of its Rs 3,000-crore manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh, from where it plans to cater to both domestic and export markets.

The company is likely to commence commercial operations by early 2016 with an initial production capacity of 50,000 units per year.

The production capacity of the plant, which is expected to generate 2,000-3,000 jobs, could be scaled up to 1.20 lakh units per year.

"After the new facility (is completed), we will make Isuzu D-Max Space Cab at the company's Andhra Pradesh plant. This vehicle will mainly help those customers who have their own medium and small size business," Isuzu Motors Deputy Managing Director Shigeru Wakabayashi told reporters here.

By the end of March, the company will have presence in nine cities with exclusive dealerships in Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Cochin, Bangalore, Tirupati, Vishakapatnam, Madurai and Delhi.

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