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Sales pledge attracts more dealers to Isuzu

Subaru dealers, 4x4 used specialists and multi-franchised dealerships are all on the wanted list for Isuzu as it looks to boost network numbers from 76 to 100 sites over the next 12 months.

The pick-up manufacturer has already made eight appointments this year and is in talks with a further 11 strong prospects. The south-east contains a number of open points.

While 95% of its network is on a shared site with a Subaru dealer – both are imported by IM Group – a growing model line up means Isuzu boss Kenyon Neads is confident of attracting more non-Subaru dealers into the fold.

“We had a core offering of three models based on the Rodeo double-cab. We have added a single cab and automatic this year and we will have a Sport limited edition version from September,” Neads told AM.

“The growth will be from the LE, Denver and single-cab and it’s all incremental.”

He expects sales to reach 2,150 this year, up from 1,900 in 2007, in a pick-up market that is down 20%. Next year he is targeting 2,500 when an extended cab and 3.0-litre version could be added.

Those aspirations are helped by the fact that 85% of its customers are trade rather than lifestyle private buyers.

Investment levels for newcomers are low and support is high.

Dealers have 90 days’ free stocking on the five vehicle stock mandate, cap ex terms for the first 12 months and free marketing and point of sale materials. Return on investment is expected with-in the first year.

Isuzu invested a six-figure sum in June on a six-day training course for dealers. Rodeology armed 200 dealer staff with all the information needed to sell Isuzu pick-ups from tax rules to branding.

Neads intends to repeat the exercise twice a year.

Accessories sales – worth up to £1,500 per vehicle – and aftersales are two big opportunities to boost profits.

With 50,000 Troopers sold in the UK since 1986 and a further 12,000 pick-ups in the marketplace, dealers have plenty of business to fill their workshops.

This is key with a typical change cycle on Isuzu pick-ups of more than four years – far higher than the average.

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