Isuzu Motors India opens first showroom in Chennai
Quite recently, there was news about unveiling of the first locally made model by Isuzu Motors India, marking an onset of a new journey in the Indian auto market. Now, this time around, the company is again making news for it has opened first showroom in Chennai at Ambattur Industrial Estate. This Chennai showroom spans an area of 3000 square feet. Here, customers will have access to sales, service and spare parts of the auto company under one roof.
At present, Isuzu has two vehicles in its Indian portfolio, namely MU-7 SUV and D-Max pick-up truck. The price of BS4 variant of MU-7 is Rs. 22.3 lakh while its BS3 variant is priced at Rs. 22 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai). On the other hand, D-Max is available to customers at a price of around Rs. 6.6 lakh. This showroom has followed the rolling out of company's first locally made, BS4 compliant MU-7 vehicle. As far as future goals are concerned, the auto company wants to have a marked presence in the country with 60 outlets by end of 2015-2016. Initially, the company would like to get a strong foothold in southern regions of India by opening 5 dealerships in Madurai, Tirupati, Vishakhapatnam, Bangalore, Cochin by January 2014.
Takashi Kikuchi, Isuzu Motors India President and Managing Director, reportedly said, “KUN, being one of the largest automotive dealers in India is now a valued partner for Isuzu also. With the launch of our Chennai dealership, we look forward to growing our market in South India and gradually across the country.” Besides the first showroom, there is rife news about Japanese auto maker setting up its first car facility in South India too. This new plant will see an investment of Rs. 3,000 crore and is likely to be operational by the year 2016. The company officials have stated that this plant will produce light commercial vehicles and sports utility vehicles to be sold in the Indian market.
Kikuchi reportedly addressed the entire development as, “The Rs. 3,000 crore investment is for our plant in Sri City (Special Economic Zone at Tada near Chennai). It will be operational in 2016.” However, he declined to give more information on the production in upcoming manufacturing facility. He stated, “We are still in planning stage (of what will be manufactured from the company's plant at Sri City SEZ).” When asked about the fate of the contract signed with Hindustan Motors once the new car facility becomes operational in the year 2016, Kikuchi stated that the auto company would continue to contract manufacture MU-7.
Notably, Isuzu Motors India has already signed a contractual deal with Hindustan Motors for its MU-7 model. As per this 'contract manufacturing' agreement made back in June 2013, the auto company has been granted access to Hindustan Motors' plant situated in Thiruvallur, near Chennai for the assembling of MU-7. The main highlight of this agreement is that while Isuzu Motors can initially aim for a smooth onset of its journey in the market, the latter is benefited too as the Thiruvallur facility is currently under-utilised. As a matter of fact, Hindustan Motors had reportedly stated, “The agreement with Isuzu Motors and Ambassador Encore are expected to improve the performance of the company in the current financial year (beginning October).”
As announced, Isuzu Motors India rolled out its first assembled SUV namely MU-7 on 10th December 2013 to embrace a new start in the Indian auto market. As mentioned before, the rolled out model of MU-7 has been assembled in Thiruvallur plant near Chennai. From here on, the company would be aiming high to flourish and pose an intense competition in the Indian market against its competitors.
With regards to recently introduced MU-7, Shigeru Wakabayashi, Isuzu Motors India Executive Vice- President, reportedly stated that the auto company is aiming for 70 per cent localisation once its own plant in Sri City becomes operational. He stated said that by the year 2019, the company's goal is to achieve 100 per cent localisation. Wakabayashi also mentioned other priorities of the auto company. He said that the company will also try to grab opportunities of shipping to overseas markets from its new plant in Sri City after 2016.