So when Isuzu decided to launch the MU7 and D-Max in India and not even send a press release, we were very shocked.
Isuzu called it a ‘test launch’. This means that they have officially not entered India but are testing the various scenarios of India launch.
For now, there is one showroom each in Hyderabad and Coimbatore from where you can book an Isuzu for a sum of Rs 50,000.
The car will be imported as a CBU and delivered to your house. A few months after delivery, folks form Isuzu would pay a visit to your house to gather your feedback.
Of course, this arrangement cannot last forever. Isuzu has to start production in India if they are serious about the Indian market. There are plans to set up a 1,000 crore plant in Andhra Pradesh which should be operation by 2015.
On an immediate basis, Isuzu is in talks with Hindustan Motors and General Motors India to manufacture its products on a contract. Considering it will take almost three to five years for the new plant to be operational, it makes sense for Isuzu to start a small operation in India to test the waters.
It is also learnt that the Isuzu team is working closely with Mitsubishi India to set up its India operations as Mitsubishi globally has 9.2% stake in Isuzu Motor Limited. As Mitsubishi works with Hindustan Motors to assemble its SUV in India, there is a very strong possibility that HM might be chosen partner for Isuzu’s India plans.
There is also a good possibility of GM India might be a chosen partner because of their international collaboration. Considering GM’s Halol and Talegoan plant are not running at full capacity, some space can be allocated to Isuzu for production.