While Proton tops the list as the worst carmaker in Pakistan as far as deliveries are concerned, the next one on that list is probably Isuzu. Not because the company collects bookings and makes its customers wait for over a year while making substantial price hikes before deliveries & slapping all the price impact on the buyers, Isuzu despite being very fair in its practices is the slowest to push its vehicles off the showroom floors in Pakistan.
Isuzu is backed by Ghandhara Industries Limited (GIL), a division of the Ghandhara Group, which isn’t really well renowned for its automotive endeavors despite having some big names under its belt. The company launched Isuzu D-Max in Pakistan in November 2018 as a direct competitor of Toyota Hilux.
Similar to the Hilux, the D-Max offered both single and double cabin options, 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive models, as well as manual and automatic gearbox choices. And, like the flagship Hilux Revo variants, it offered D-MAX V-Cross variants in its lineup.
Related: Isuzu D-Max Continues to Thrash Toyota Hilux in Thailand
Initially, it was thought that the D-Max range with a considerable difference in price will eat some considerable market share from Toyota, which in fact it did in some part of its early years. However, the vehicle was never able to rise to its glory, something anyone might expect after looking at its sales performance in other parts of the world.
The best Isuzu D-Max ever achieved in our market was a monthly sales average of around 54 units. That was during the fiscal year FY19-20. But now the average of its sales (10M-FY23) has dropped down to just 17. So far during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, only 172 units of D-Max were lucky enough to find buyers. Whereas just 40 have been sold in the first 4 months of this calendar year with 13 units in January, 8 in February, only 1 unit in March, and 18 units in April 2023, rendering a sorry sales average of just 10 units a month.
Related: Isuzu D-Max Thumping Sales in the Malaysian Market
Since it stepped into our market four and a half years ago, GIL has succeeded in selling 2,173 units of Isuzu D-Max (as of April 2023). In comparison, sales of Toyota Hilux in FY20-21 alone stood at 7,043 units. Not to mention D-Max’s four-year sales average turns out to be just 179 units a year & just around 14 units a month.
When D-Max was launched, the Toyota Hilux Revo in our market (like the D-Max V-Cross) used to have a 3.0L engine under its hood, which was quickly ditched by Toyota in favor of a new and more powerful 2.8L unit. The 3.0L engine of D-Max is relatively less powerful compared to the one that’s offered with the Hilux Revo. The introduction of a slightly lower-displacement yet powerful engine was indeed a plus point for a vehicle that was already considered a market leader and a lone champion of the segment.
Interestingly while Isuzu does really well in Southeast Asian markets such as Thailand and Malaysia, it’s the complete opposite in our part of the world including Pakistan and India where an obsolete generation model is still on sale despite the new generation one debuting in 2019. The one we have here made its global debut in 2011 and is technically a 12-year-old vehicle.
Related: Isuzu- Too Good in Southeast Asia, But Struggling in South Asia
With such poor sales, it’s nearly impossible for us to anticipate the arrival of the new third-generation D-Max here. Nonetheless, with significantly greater sales in India (compared to Pakistan), Isuzu should have considered selling the current model there a long time ago. It’s difficult to comprehend why Isuzu is dragging previous generation models in the South Asian region given the level of success the D-Max is enjoying in Southeast Asian markets. Perhaps the automaker has already accepted defeat and no longer views South Asia (India and Pakistan) as a key market.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com