Main Photo by Aaron Smith
For a car company that only produces two different models in a world of constant upgrades and changes, Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) are the little fish in the pond making big waves.
IUA produce the popular and reliable D-Max and MU-X with both proving their worth in the market and the roads. Since opening their Australian office in 2008, the company has been punching above their weight in sales and 2017 was more proof that Australian’s trust the brand.
Achieving double digit growth in 2017, IUA successfully grew the brand by 10.4 per cent year on year and is made all the more remarkable given that this now signifies double-digit growth for 9 years in a row for the 2-car brand in hotly contested market segments.
The 2017 sales result sees Isuzu UTE ranked as the 13th largest automotive brand in Australia, two positions ahead of last year by outselling some well-established brands including BMW, Audi, Suzuki and Jeep.
IUA hit a major milestone in April 2017 with 100,000 cumulative unit sales since inception. The introduction of the brands ‘New-Look’, ‘Pumped-Up’ D-MAX and MU-X certainly helped drive increased numbers of vehicles off the showroom floor since their launch mid-year.
The new powertrain developed exclusively for the Australian market (3L turbo-diesel engine, 430Nm of torque and six-speed transmission), as well as cosmetic, comfort and NVH refinements to both product lines helped deliver the Brisbane-based distributor a new monthly record high of 2,388 D-MAX sales and 1,178 MU-X sales in June alone.
The 7-seat MU-X has been the shining light for IUA last year as sales reached 8,087. Whilst this positions the brand sixth in this segment across Australia (SUV-Large<$70K), in Queensland MU-X is the number two best seller behind Toyota Prado. This is not a bad effort as the MU-X was only introduced in 2013.
In fact the MU-X is now the number one selling ute-based SUV-Large<$70k nationally, outselling Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest, Holden Trailblazer and Toyota Fortuner. This means the MU-X is selling almost three times as many as Fortuner and more than double Holden Trailblazer.
Not forgetting the D-Max, the companies first vehicle in Australia, it too had an impressive year as it overtook the Nissan Navara into fifth place for overall sales in the 1-tonne Ute segment with an 8.3 per cent increase year on year. The 4×4 sales were up a resounding 13.0 per cent year on year to 12,795, positioning it well ahead of the Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok which are sitting on 8,900 and 8,722 sales respectively.
“We are particularly proud of the growth of the D-Max and MU-X in an extremely competitive market.” commented IUA Managing Director, Mr. Hiro Kuramoto.
“We are excited to see that our updated models have really hit the mark with our consumers.”
“Customer satisfaction and loyalty is the key to our ongoing success with many happy owners now transitioning into a newer model as well as increasing numbers of new customers being referred.
“This, combined with the impressive improvements to our product and aftersales offering – Service Plus 5-5-5, with 5 years Capped Price Servicing being added to our existing 5 year warranty and 5 years roadside assistance package, reconfirming our reputation for performance, dependability and value.
“It is particularly exciting to see such dramatic and continuous growth for 9 years in a row in a key market such as Australia. I have complete confidence in the quality of our growing Dealer Network, which now includes 140 outlets across every state and territory in Australia. As we head into our 10th year of sales, we are confident that our ongoing commitment to continuously refine and improve our products to meet Australian needs will ensure another exciting year for the brand as we strive to hit double-digit growth again in 2018,” concluded Mr Kuramoto.