Isuzu resumes production in Thailand and the new MY2020 D-MAX ute is still expected in Australian showrooms in July this year.
Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) has announced that D-MAX and MU-X production has resumed in Thailand and that all Australian dealers are open and undertaking new initiatives to safeguard against the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a new MY2020 D-MAX due to be launched in Australia in July, this is obviously good news for IUA which, like the rest of the local automotive industry, took a big hit in April with sales down 39 per cent on the previous year. Sales of D-MAX were down 43.9 per cent year-on-year for the month of April, and sales of MU-X were down 34 per cent for the same period.
In year-to-date terms, IUA has sold 2796 4X4 D-MAX utes in the first four-months of the year compared to 3581 units in the same period last year, which is a 21.9 per cent reduction, so there’s no doubt the company hopes the introduction of the new model will turn this decline around in the second half of 2020.
Isuzu temporarily suspended vehicle production in Thailand on 13 April, 2020 as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With new safety in place, the Samrong Plant has successfully resumed production from 5 May, with the Gateway Plant scheduled to reopen from 18 May.
“I am really pleased to hear news of the factory reopening as this is a sign that the global COVID-19 situation is improving,” IUA Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato said. “We of course understand that under current situation the safest place is still at home. But a lot of essential businesses and workers have to keep moving…”
IUA has launched a ‘we are open’ campaign, to highlight the initiatives the dealer network has undertaken to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff. Some dealers are even organising test drives from customers’ homes, while also providing contactless or remote sales support, as well as pick-up and drop-off of vehicles for servicing. You can find you nearest IUA dealer here.