On the face of it, it seems
Indians have yet to fall in love with pick-up vehicles like the way the
Americans and others do. Though Indian tastes are veering towards vehicles with
muscle like looks, crossovers and compact SUVs, surprisingly their penchant for
pick-ups seems to be missing.
Isuzu Motors India Pvt Ltd,
makers of the smart looking D-Max vehicles for commercial vehicle segment and
V-Cross for the passenger vehicle segment, does not seem to have made a dent in
the either of the segments in the last one year, ever since they moved
operations to their own plant in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh with an installed
capacity of 50,000 units per annum. Plant utilisation currently stands at a
mere 6pc, considering total production of 2884 vehicles for the fiscal 2016-17.
As per the SIAM data, for the
year 2016-17 fiscal, the company sold a mere 1607 units in the passenger
vehicle segment, bulk of which comprised of the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Adventure
Utility Vehicle passenger vehicle and the remaining being MU 7 SUVs. The
company has not found success in the commercial vehicle segment too where sales
for the fiscal 2016-17 stood at a mere 1192 units for the D-Max vehicle.
Exports for the year too were a measly 12 units each for the company in both
It was in April 2016 that
Isuzu Motors plant was inaugurated by Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of
Andhra Pradesh. The new generation Isuzu D-Max V-Cross – India’s First
Adventure Utility Vehicle, was also rolled-out of plant by the Chief Minister
and Masanori Katayama, President, Isuzu Motors Limited, Japan, to mark the
commencement of production at the new facility.
underutilisation of Isuzu plant
This manufacturing plant at
SriCity is spread over an area of 107 acres and has a production capacity of
50,000 units that can be scaled up to 120,000 units in future. Going by the
current level of production, the plant is under utilised to a great extent.
Total production in the last fiscal was a mere 2884 units which means
utilisation levels of the plant was a mere 5.8pc!
The intention was to manufacture
the new generation of Isuzu D-Max pick-ups with 70pc localisation at the start
of production which was to be increased in future; Isuzu was also to consider export
of vehicles manufactured at this plant to other markets in the world at a
suitable time in future.
Within a month of the
inauguration of the plant, Isuzu Motors India announced the opening of bookings
for the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Adventure Utility Vehicle for a price of Rs. 12.49
lakh (Ex-showroom, Chennai). The deliveries of the vehicle commenced in July
D-Max V-Cross Adventure Utility Vehicle
The V-Cross comes with a
powerful engine mated to a 5 speed manual transmission with a 4WD
(shift-on-fly) mode. The chassis frame is based on iGRIP technology (Isuzu
Gravity Response Intelligent Platform) that ensures greater stability even at
high speeds and sharp curves.
The V-Cross also has a host of
contemporary features that offer customers a premium driving experience. The
exterior of the vehicle sports an aggressive wedge shaped design with perfect
proportions of flowing lines and a unique flat-underbody. The interiors of the
V-Cross come with features with ergonomically designed seats, steering mounted
audio controls, and electro-luminescent meters with MID (Multi Information
Display). The V-Cross also has a dedicated large deck that can carry personal
gear, luggage and equipment especially for long road-trips, adventure and
Motown India analysis
on Isuzu V-Cross lukewarm demand
At Motown India we feel that
the V-Cross, despite being a very versatile vehicle, has not been projected
rightly in the passenger vehicle segment. People in general are intimidated by
large vehicles but that does not stop them from buying large and bulky luxury
vehicles. The concept of a pick-up has not caught on in the country. The
company has to make the right effort in educating people on the versatility of
the Isuzu V-Cross Adventure Utility Vehicle.
Isuzu Motor needs to
participate as well as organise large scale outdoor events and project the
V-Cross vehicle that offers the best of both the worlds, off road as well as on
road, city as well as highway. The number of dealerships within a city needs to
be increased and should be closer to affluent localities. At the end of the day,
it would be the moneyed class that would go for a vehicle like this. These
families need to be targeted. It is the SUV age today and a pick-up is not much
different from an SUV, except for the large boot space.
VERDICT: Isuzu Motors needs to re-strategise for the
Indian market before it is too late.