The Tokyo based diesel engine specialists; Isuzu Motors is planning to launch a 7 seater MPV to counter the likes of the Toyota Innova and possibly some smaller softer ones as well. Even after the launch of the cheaper Honda Mobilio, and interesting discounts on Ertiga, Innova still enjoys the tag of the largest selling MPV in the country.
While Isuzu only recently started sales of its passenger cars in the country, they are prepared to take this ambitious project against the Innova. The company so far sells the D-Max pick-up trucks and the MU7 SUV.
The report published on Economic Times says that the all new premium MPV which has been codenamed as RU30, will be manufactured in India at its upcoming plant at Sri City Andhra Pradesh. They currently manufacture the D-Max and MU7 at Hindustan Motor’s Chennai assembly plant. The new facility, which will be ready by 2016 and has seen an investment of Rs 3,000 crores, will have a production capacity of 1.2 lakh units per year.
Isuzu slugging it out against Toyota is a pretty common sight in countries like China, Thailand and other South East Asian countries, but this would be the first time they would be taking up a fight against an established brand in India. The company intends to launch the RU30 MPV by the end of 2016 or early 2017, and plans to ship 40,000 units of it every year. A pretty over-enthusiastic figure considering that the total sale of MPVs in the country presently stands at 1.3 to 1.4 lakh units per annum.
The company plans to increase the localisation of its vehicles to 80 per cent in the next two years. This would also help in reducing the production costs. It would not be a very easy run for a newer brand like Isuzu to establish itself in India, however, by targeting interesting segments, they have shown their intent.