Isuzu Motors has quietly begun its operations in India and its first two products, MU-7 SUV and D-Max pickup have already gone on sale and we are delighted that they have done so. The problem though, is that they are currently brought in the country as Completely Built Units and that makes the costs to shoot through the roof. For example, the MU-7 costs more than 24 Lakh rupees, whereas the segment leader, the Toyota Fortuner, costs about Rs 21 Lakh. The company plans on bringing in the cars through the CKD route later on and has entered into a contract with Hindustan Motors regarding the same. Isuzu Motors will start local assembly in India in December 2013, and will use HMs Chennai facility for the same. What it will do is that it will bring down the costs considerably and make the Isuzu vehicles cheaper.
In the meanwhile, the company will be focusing on building up a dealer network as that is quite important as well. The company has its dealerships in Hyderabad and Coimbatore currently and it intends on extending the number of dealerships to 10 by the end of 2013. And that is not all, the company aims to have 60 dealerships by 2016 and 160 by 2020. The company’s Sri City assembly facility in Andhra Pradesh will start functioning by 2016 but until then, the Chennai facility of Hindustan Motors will be used. Once the company’s own facility becomes operational, it will be aiming to get a 100 percent localisation level. The company plans on focusing on SUVs and pickup trucks primarily and will take things forth from there on based on the feedback from the customers. The company has entered India with a long term strategy and we do not expect to hear explosive stories from the company anytime soon.