Back in July, we brought you the scintillating news that Japanese auto maker Isuzu is planning a foray into the Indian passenger car market.
Now thanks to our friends at Team-BHP.com, we bring you the first spy pictures of the Isuzu MU-7 SUV testing in Pune.
The MU-7 is a Sports Utility Wagon’ based on the D-Max pickup truck’s chassis. It is a long SUV that can comfortably seat 7-8 people, on the similar lines of the Force One and Ford Endeavour. It is powered by a 3L turbo-diesel engine that generates an output of 146 hp and 294 Nm of torque. It is available in both 4×2 and 4X4 avatars.
Isuzu is not new to India. The Japanese automaker is present in India through SML-Isuzu (a joint venture with Swaraj-Mazda) and supplies diesel engines to the good old Amby. However, it is only an technology partner in these ventures.
The growth of the SUV segment in India has certainly caught the eyes of the most popular name in midsize pickup trucks. The automaker is contemplating on setting up a greenfield facility in India worth Rs 1,000 crore. The plant will have a capacity of 1,00,000 to 1,20,000 units annually and is expected to begin humming in 2015. The plant will cater to both domestic and foreign demand.
In the meantime, Isuzu may import the MU-7 from Thailand and assemble it at the Hindustan Motors plant in Chennai. The automaker also plans to sell a lifestyle pickup truck - D-Max - in India if reports are to be believed. Both utility vehicles will be on sale in India next year hopefully.
Isuzu plans to sell 120,000 vehicles per year by 2016 once the manufacturing plant is in place. We'd like to see Isuzu get in touch with the media as soon as possible with official details on the India foray.