Isuzu pushes for larger slice of commercial market

Observer writer

Friday, October 18, 2019

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Vehicles and Supplies Limited (VSL), dealers for the Isuzu brand of motor vehicles, is expecting that its new N-series commercial truck, launched on October 11 at the Police Officer's Club, St Andrew, will lead its attempts to increase its share of the local commercial vehicle market.
“No doubt in years to come this will become the most popular model Isuzu has ever introduced,” Amanda Thwaites, sales and marketing manager — VSL explained.
The 2020 N-series has introduced a new technology that will eventually spread across the Isuzu line of commercial vehicles, the Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT).
It is this breakthrough that Thwaites feels will spur sales as it's the first of its kind in the Jamaican commercial vehicle segment.
“Vehicles and Supplies is number one in the light and medium Isuzu truck sales. We will be concentrating in 2020 on the heavy-duty line,” said Thwaites.
She expects that within two years VSL will move to number one in that segment as well. VSL has reported that it currently holds 32 per cent of the light and medium market.
“Isuzu is currently leader of the industry in many countries such as Japan, Thailand, England, Australia, South Africa, Columbia, and Mexico,” said Tetsuya Fujita, general manager, Latin America & Caribbean international sales department - Isuzu Motors Ltd.
The Isuzu N-series is already renowned for reliability, efficiency and durability with a 5.2-litre turbo diesel motor, but Fujita believes the new AMT technology will make it even more versatile.
The N-series equipped with the AMT sits between the full manual and automatic versions of the model as it is neither. AMT trucks have a mix of an electronically operated and manual gearbox. This means vehicles that have AMT use a clutch like a traditional manual and not a torque convertor operated automatic transmission.
There is no clutch pedal inside the cabin, instead the gears are shifted automatically by the vehicle or sequentially in manual mode by the operator.
“The computer controls and manages shifting better, making it more efficient,” explained Fujita.
For Fujita the benefits are clear, the AMT makes the N-series an easier and safer vehicle to operate. It's also more efficient as not only can the driver choose the appropriate gear whenever they want in manual mode, but it doesn't suffer the drivetrain losses associated with a fully automatic transmission.
“I think it's a good combination of economy, safety and cost.”
As for the safety aspect, with drivers spending less time having to shift a traditional manual gearbox, they can give their full attention to the road.
“I think the safety is the most important thing. The driver can watch, focus more on everything around them keeping both the driver safe and the people around him,” Fujita said.
VSL was thanked for its service to the Isuzu brand by Jun Narahashi, executive vice-president Latin America & Caribbean sales division - Isuzu Motors America, who was also present at the launch.




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