Isuzu is looking to lead the pick-up market before the end of 2015 with its new D-Max model which will go on sale in June.
The Japanese brand, imported by IM Group, is currently fourth in the segment with an 11% share, but believes a push in model quality and a competitive price will help it to win sales from Nissan and Mitsubishi.
William Brown, Isuzu UK general manager, told AM: “The network has been getting into a position where it’s ready to handle the introduction of the new D-Max.
“It’s a utility vehicle but we’ve moved it into a more premium range. It’s got a better specification and we’ve now got four derivatives for the first time – we only previously had three.”
Asked if moving the brand upmarket would confuse its previous marketing position as solely a commercial vehicle, rather than a lifestyle model, Brown said: “Our message is still that it’s a fit for purpose commercial vehicle. We will have a more lifestyle-orientated derivative, but the core focus is still on business use.”
IM Group also imports Chinese pick-up manufacturer Great Wall, but Brown said the models competed at different ends of the spectrum.