It’s a considerable achievement in a highly competitive market segment, where, in March 2017, the D-MAX was the eighth best-selling vehicle on the overall 4x4 sales charts (1132 units) – the MU-X finished 13th with 650 sales.
"Since launch, our products have been endorsed with awards both here and internationally, leaving no doubt they are capable performers,” said IUA’s Managing Director and CEO Yasu Takeuchi. “This is backed by the positive feedback we receive from both our private and fleet customers, who put our vehicles to the test in some very extreme conditions, day-in, day-out.”
The D-MAX and MU-X brands first arrived on local soil in 2008, and since then have experienced exponential success in the Australian market – for eight consecutive years IUA has posted double-digit sales growth.
D-MAX ute sales have consistently been on the up since its 2008 launch. Back then, the Japanese carmaker shifted 273 3.0-litre common-rail diesel-powered units. The following year, 3566 utes were dispatched from the showroom floor.
A tougher style upgrade in 2010 saw annual sales rise yet again, to a total of 6497 units. In 2011, 6397 D-MAX utes were sold off the back of IUA’s Max Run Challenge, where the D-MAX averaged 5.49L/100km on a 3452km run from Melbourne to Cairns.
The D-MAX entered another era in 2012 when a new D-MAX (with the same 3.0-litre donk) arrived to tackle Australia’s red dust – 7782 units were sold that year.
10,209 utes were sold in 2013, the same year the company introduced its five-year warranty and five years of Roadside Assistance.
The D-MAX was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2014 – and Isuzu introduced the 3.5-tonne towing capacity – to boost annual sales to 16,674. This was also buoyed by stronger fleet sales.
Annual sales increased in 2015 and 2016, with figures of 20,984 and 23,377 respectively.
An all-new D-MAX, with an upgraded 430Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine and new six-speed automatic and manual transmissions, was launched in 2017 and has taken the overall sales total past 100,000.
When the MU-X wagon was launched in 2013, Isuzu sold 120 units. That number has consistently grown year on year – 4625 units in 2014; 6344 in 2015; and 7018 in 2016.
To keep up with the steady sales increase, Isuzu’s dealer network has also grown from 39 (in 2008) to more than 130 dealers Australia-wide.
Isuzu doesn’t expect this trend to be slowing down anytime soon, with plans afoot for further strategic growth.
“I believe that if we can continue to deliver on our promises and respect the trust of our customers, our brand will continue to grow from strength to strength,” Mr Takeuchi said.