Isuzu readies for D-Max Carib launch
BANGKOK, Thailand — Toshiaki Maekawa, co-managing director of Isuzu Motors International Operations (Thailand) Co Ltd, unveiled to several Caribbean/Latin American Automotive journalists their new D-Max pickup at press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel.
While the vehicle was revealed on September 2011, it hit the Thailand market, where it is manufactured, the following year. Since then, the 2012 D-Max has been slowly rolled out worldwide to further success.
"When we launched the product in Israel in March, we sold 595 units on the first day," said Maekawa. "Here in Thailand, we have sold 100,000 units so far, and have a waiting list that is currently five months of our production stock. To deal with overseas demand, we will be bringing a third factory online in October."
Over the next few months, the redesigned D-Max will be made available to the 18 countries within the Caribbean and Latin America where it is sold.
"This is a new model of higher quality using feeback from our customers and embedded with our expertise in both commercial vehicles and diesel engines," Maekawa explained.
Snehnart Sangkwat, sales and promotion for Central/South America, said the vehicle will get new features designed to compete directly with its rival, the Toyota Hilux, in the region.
"There will be a 2.5-litre direct-injection engine in response to a similar power plant being offered in the Hilux, to go along with our regular 3-litre motor," she said.
Sangkawt said the new model will be an Extended Cab, sitting between the regular and the Crew Cab.
"It uses what we call Side Access Panel (SAP) which are small doors that open alongside the front door for flexibility," she said.
The three body-styles will be available in two grades for the Caribbean/Latin American market -- standard and luxurious.
Local Isuzu dealers in Jamaica are the Half-Way-Tree Road-based Vehicles and Supplies.
— Rory Daley