Business / Corporate

Isuzu seeks edge over Japanese competitors in Cambodia with new pickup truck model

Nna/kyodo

Isuzu Motors Ltd. has launched a fuel-efficient model in its mainstay D-Max pickup truck series in Cambodia, as it aims to steal a march on competitors from its homeland.

Shuichiro Mori, president of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Cambodia Co., said Saturday as it unveiled the D-Max 1.9, the first sub-1900cc pickup in the Southeast Asian country.

The new model is about 20 percent more fuel efficient than the D-Max 3.0 version sold in Cambodia, Mori said.

“We want to start a new trend in the pickup segment by enhancing our lineup, as car purchasers become more aware of fuel economy and durability,” he added.

Isuzu also launched a sports utility vehicle with a remodeled exterior in the MU-X series, alongside the smaller D-Max, as locals prefer multipurpose vehicles to sedans due to the underdeveloped roads there.

The price of the D-Max 1.9 ranges from $33,000 (¥3.58 million) to $49,000, while the MU-X sells for $60,000 to $67,000, according to Mori.

The Japanese automaker has so far marketed one model each in the D-Max and MU-X series. With the two new models, it aims to more than double its new vehicle sales in the country to 700 units this year.

New vehicle sales in Cambodia surged 40 percent in 2018 from the previous year, to about 6,300 units, with pickups accounting for 30 to 40 percent, according to an industry estimate. Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are among Japanese rivals also selling pickups in the country.