AM Online

Isuzu to axe Trooper in crisis restructure

International Motors, which imports Isuzu, told AM that from June next year, production of the Trooper off-roader series will cease, leaving dealers to focus on selling the TF pick-up.

The move is part of a massive restructuring of debt-ridden Isuzu that will almost certainly see redundancies and factory closures in its home country of Japan. But IM's message for UK dealers is "business as usual" and it says it has no plans to cut dealer margins and offer buyers cut-price deals on Troopers.

Retailers are upbeat about the news. Dealerships approached by AM suggest that the change in product will deliver important new sales contacts. Les Waterfall, director at Beechdale Motor Group, says: "When one door closes, another door opens.

"Obviously we are disappointed about the decision to end production of the Trooper, but we are also very excited about the future of Isuzu because the TF allows us to go after a new area of business." Beechdale, which has two Subaru and Isuzu sites in Nottingham and Derby, has already doubled its order for Troopers to 150 units.

The Trooper was first introduced to the UK in 1987 and sales last year were up 20 per cent to about 2000 units. Isuzu's new TF190 pick-up is expected to go on sale in June next year. The previous model, the TF 140, was based on a Vauxhall Brava.

As a diesel specialist, Isuzu will continue to supply oilburners for vehicles within the GM family - notably the 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit for use in the Saab 9-5, Renault Vel Satis and Vauxhall Vectra.

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