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Isuzu Ute has clocked up 10 years in Australia, a decade in which it has gone from minnow to perennial over-achiever. In fact, we’re now the Thai-based company’s biggest export market.
It launched as a sales company in October 2008 after years of supplying Holden with Jackaroos and Rodeos. Sales ramped up, with double-digit growth achieved for nine consecutive years before ‘slowing’ to 8.8 per cent this year.
It’s now sold a tick over 140,000 units, comprising 107,332 D-Max utes and 32,752 MU-X SUVs total, and is currently the 13th biggest sales brand in the country. Over the decade it’s taken its dealer network from 38 sites to 140, many of which are in regional areas.
Considering how many ‘new’ brands struggle, this is quite a feat.
Timing isn’t quite everything, but it counts for a lot, and Isuzu Ute’s arrival coincided neatly with a major uplift in light commercial sales here, particularly in Queensland and WA.
It currently owns 13.2 per cent market share in the 4×2 ute class (third to the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger) and 7.4 per cent of the bigger 4×4 ute class (neck-and-neck with Nissan Navara in fifth place).