Kuramoto looking forward after Isuzu UTE achieves double-digit growth for 9th year in a row
Reconfirming its position as a serious contender in both the 1-tonne Ute and SUV categories, Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) has once again achieved double digit growth in 2017, successfully growing the brand by 10.4% YOY. This is made all the more remarkable given that this now signifies double-digit growth for 9 years in a row for the 2-car brand in hotly contested market segments. The 2017 sales result sees Isuzu UTE ranked as the 13th largest automotive brand in Australia, 2 positions ahead of last year by outselling some well-established brands including BMW, Audi, Suzuki and Jeep.
The ever-strengthening brand was headlined by a strong sales performance across the year, with decisive increases for both D-MAX and MU-X sales. After hitting a major milestone of 100,000 cumulative unit sales since inception in April last year, the introduction of it’s ‘New-Look’, ‘Pumped-Up’ D-MAX and MU-X has certainly helped drive increased numbers of vehicles off the showroom floor since their launch mid-year. The new powertrain developed exclusively for the Australian market (3L turbo-diesel engine, 430Nm of torque and six-speed transmission), as well as cosmetic, comfort and NVH refinements to both product lines helped deliver the Brisbane-based distributor a new monthly record high of 2,388 D-MAX sales and 1,178 MU-X sales in June alone.
The 7-seat MU-X has been the shining light for IUA this year, achieving 8,087 sales in 2017. Whilst this positions the brand 6th in this segment across Australia (SUV-Large<$70K), in QLD MU-X is the number 2 best seller behind Toyota Prado which is an outstanding achievement for a nameplate that was only introduced in 2013. In fact the MU-X is now the number 1 selling ute-based SUV-Large<$70k nationally, outselling Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest, Holden Trailblazer and Toyota Fortuner. To put that in context, MU-X is selling almost 3 times as many as Fortuner (8,087 vs 2,851) and more than double Holden Trailblazer (8,087 vs 3,304).
The D-MAX too has had an impressive year, overtaking Nissan Navara into 5th place for overall sales in the 1-tonne Ute segment with a convincing 8.3% increase YOY overall, with the 4x4 sales up a resounding 13.0% YOY to 12,795, positioning it well ahead of the Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok which are sitting on 8,900 and 8,722 sales respectively.
“We are particularly proud of the growth of the D-MAX and MU-X in an extremely competitive market.” commented IUA Managing Director, Mr. Hiro Kuramoto. “We are excited to see that our updated models have really hit the mark with our consumers.”
“Customer satisfaction and loyalty is the key to our ongoing success,” he continued “with many happy owners now transitioning into a newer model as well as increasing numbers of new customers being referred. This, combined with the impressive improvements to our product and aftersales offering – Service Plus 5-5-5, with 5 years Capped Price Servicing being added to our existing 5 year warranty and 5 years roadside assistance package, reconfirming our reputation for performance, dependability and value.”
“It is particularly exciting to see such dramatic and continuous growth for 9 years in a row in a key market such as Australia. I have complete confidence in the quality of our growing Dealer Network, which now includes 140 outlets across every state and territory in Australia. As we head into our 10th year of sales, we are confident that our ongoing commitment to continuously refine and improve our products to meet Australian needs will ensure another exciting year for the brand as we strive to hit double-digit growth again in 2018,” concluded Mr Kuramoto.