Isuzu's pick-up truck plant in Andhra to go on stream in Q2 of 2016

Japanese automobile maker Isuzu Motors Limited is planning to roll out products from its pick-up trucks manufacturing plant, being set up on 107 acre at Sri City in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, in the second quarter of 2016, according to Isuzu Motors India (IMI) deputy managing director Shigeru Wakabayashi.

The Rs 3,000-crore facility will initially have a capacity of 50,000 units a year at SoP (Start of Production), with scope to be further scaled up to 120,000 units a year in future, depending on the market requirement. IMI will produce a range of vehicles of pick-up trucks to utility vehicles at the new plant, he told Business Standard.

"We are aiming at 80 per cent localisation at SoP, with plans to increase the localisation levels to 100 per cent in the future," he said, adding that the initial focus would be to cater to the domestic demand.

According to him, quite a few IMI-nominated auto component suppliers have signed MoUs with the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government to explore possible investments in the state. Isuzu is taking necessary steps to build the supplier ecosystem for a mutually-beneficial future, Wakabayashi said.

Isuzu, which entered the Indian pick-up truck market with its D-Max range in mid-2012, has sold over 1,300 units of D-Max pick-ups till June 2015.

Stating that the Indian pick-up trucks market is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to grow four-fold in the next eight years to nearly 800,000 units, Wakabayashi said the market in the sub-one tonne category was witnessing a gradual shift to a higher payload and a stable vehicle that offered greater engine power for faster turnaround and higher-load carrying capacity for increased profitability.

"While we are gearing up for our next critical phase of operations with our own manufacturing plant, we are also simultaneously focusing on our network expansion across the country to cater to the demand of the market," he said, adding that IMI was planning to add 60 dealership outlets to its existing network of 25 by 2016.

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