The Japanese automaker Isuzu Motors is contemplating a new seven-seater MPV in India, if an ET report is to believed. The company which currently has only two vehicles in its stable - MU-7 and D-Max pick-up truck, now intends to extend its portfolio by introducing a MPV which would directly compete with the segment leader Toyota Innova. It would be taking a minimum time period of 2 years before this new MPV project gets underway.
The company has code named the new MPV as RU30 and its production is expected to begin by October 2016, with launch expected to happen in festive season of the same year. Furthermore, the company would also invest Rs 3,000 crore to establish a local manufacturing facility in Sri City (Tada), Andhra Pradesh. In addition, Isuzu also intends to assemble the D-Max pick-up truck locally as currently it is being imported from Thailand. However, Isuzu Motors India's president and managing director Takashi Kikuchi, remaining tight-lipped about the developments on latest MPV reports surfacing, said, "Isuzu has two products for the Indian market - the MU-7 in the SUV category and the D-MAX in the pickup segment. We have not yet finalized our detailed future product plan."
Around 1.3-1.4 Lakh MPVs are being sold in India annually and the segment is expected to flourish further up as Honda Mobilio has entered the segment and also Renault is bringing its Lodgy MPV next year. By the time, Isuzu launches its MPV in the Indian market, there would be several vehicles in the segment such as the next gen Innova, Mahindra all new Xylo-U421, and Hyundai's MPV. Mr. Kikuchi further added that the company plans to step up localisation to 80% in the next two years and is in the process of selecting the best suppliers in India. It is also gradually building its dealer network that is expected to grow to 60 dealers in the country by the time the new products are rolled out.