It’s always interesting to see how vehicles perform in terms of sales in markets where competition is intense. And we couldn’t stop ourselves from posting this story when we went through the full year sales figures of pickup trucks in Thai market.
The pickup truck segment in Pakistan is wholly dominated by Toyota Hilux whereas the Isuzu D-MAX which was introduced in late 2018 holds a minuscule 3.9% share of the market as of December 2020, the story in Thailand is much different as the segment witnesses competition between not less than 9 players.
Related: 50 Years of Toyota Hilux
All around the world, the first half of year 2020 was hit hard by slump in economic activities & lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic, whereas the latter half saw recovery in vehicle sales. But still the adverse affect of circumstances didn’t create any troubles for the Isuzu D-Max in Thailand which emerged on top as the bestselling vehicle in its class beating the evergreen Toyota Hilux by a considerable margin.
Keep in mind Thailand embraced the latest generation of D-Max in late 2019 and the new model which has already received tremendous praise across the globe has shown its worth well with 160,328 units sold in Thai market from January to December 2020 securing a 43.9% share of the market. This is almost 30,000 units more than the runner-up Toyota Hilux which saw sales of 129,893 units in Thailand holding 35.6% market share.
Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton were 2nd and 3rd bestsellers respectively
The third slot was grabbed by Mitsubishi Triton with 25,704 units resulting in a 7% share of pickup truck market in Thailand. The MG Extender which is anticipated to be introduced here in our market was placed at 6th position with 5,387 units sold in Thailand in 2020. Even though Toyota Hilux was blessed with a thorough facelift and a more powerful engine in Thailand in June 2020, it wasn’t good enough to topple the sales of new Isuzu D-Max.
The new 3rd gen Isuzu D-MAX boasts visual as well as mechanical upgrades compared to the out-gone model we have here, which as Isuzu says are intended to make it more efficient & safer with improved driving dynamics. The new D-MAX has been able to attain full 5-star crash test rating from ASEAN NCAP, ANCAP as well as EuroNCAP testifying its superior safety standards.
The interior also gets a massive redesign, moving away from smooth circular elements and adapting sharper and more angular design. Perceived quality has been improved with the use of embossed and textured materials.
The new D-MAX rides on a new Isuzu Dynamic Drive Platform, and while it still utilizes body-on-frame construction, the ladder frame itself has seen a great number of improvements. Under the hood there is a choice of 1.9 liter and 3.0 liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engines. The smaller, newer RZ4E-TC engine makes 150 hp and 350 Nm of torque while the new 3.0 liter 4JJ3-TCX generates 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque which is 13 hp and 70 Nm more than that of the old 4JJ1-TCX we have here with the 2nd gen model.
The story of 2nd gen Isuzu D-MAX in Pakistan has been very different as even after more than 2 years of introduction, its still struggling to make an impact in the market. It will be interesting to see the sales chart of January 2021 as vehicle sales are always expected to improve with the beginning of New Year. We will have to wait to see whether the D-MAX will bounce back or will remain seated at the bottom of domestic sales chart averaging 20 odd units a month.
However the pickup truck segment in Pakistan is about to welcome another contender as MG (Morris Garages) is reportedly stretching its legs to pitch the Extender pickup truck in the market. While it’s highly unlikely for MG Extender to dent the soaring sales of Toyota Hilux in Pakistan, the already minuscule market share of Isuzu D-MAX can certainly come at stake.