In a surprise left hook, Isuzu has already started taking bookings for their MU-7 SUV and the D-Max Pickups. It is reported that only 60 units of the MU-7 will be imported this year of which 9 have already been booked by customers in where the first Isuzu showroom was opened. A dealership in Coimbatore has also been opened while the Delhi showroom will soon be inaugurated.
The MU-7 is priced at Rs 24.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Hyderabad), while the D-Max is priced at Rs 6.87 lakh for the single cab version and Rs 8.09 lakh for the double cab version. Only the double cab version is available now, with plans for the single cab version soon.
The MU-7 is powered by Isuzu’s newly developed 3.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4JJ1-TC common rail engine. The engine makes around 163 bhp and a peak torque of 360 Nm available from as low as 1800 rpm. The Isuzu MU-7 is long, really long. At a wheelbase of 3050mm it is longer than that of the Fortuner by 2750mm. Gearbox options is limited to the MUX5S five speed manual. The Isuzu MU-7 is to be available only in 4×2 drive configuration.
Speaking to Business Line Shigeru Wakabayashi, Deputy Managing Director, IMIPL, Chennai has said that they are still looking for locations for their new plant, but have not yet finalized. The company has also not confirmed the investment they intend to make. Wakabayashi also explained that they had chosen cities in the South primarily as the plant is expected to come up in South India and this would help them understand the market better.
This is a trend we’ve been seeing in the Indian industry for a while now. While the established brands can choose to play everywhere, new entrants in competitive spaces, like the Mahindra Duro DZ and Rodeo RZ seem to do well down South than elsewhere. Isuzu seems to be playing the same card here.