Isuzu Australia’s national sales manager Les Spaltman believes the market leader may finish 2022 with sales of more than 13,000 trucks, almost 30 per cent higher than its previous record tally in 2018.
When Isuzu cracked the 10,000 barrier in 2018 it marked a new high water mark for the brand that many thought it couldn’t achieve. Now just four years later and in spite of the many challenges of Covid and supply chain shortages, the perpetual market leader is already sitting on 6043 sales for the year, half way to its original forecast of 12,000s sales and Spaltman believes topping 13,000 is now an achievable target.
“June was our biggest month ever, following our result in May, which is now our second biggest month on record, both of which bettered our previous record month in June 2020,” Spaltman told T&B News.
Despite the myriad alarmist media horror stories spruiking the spectre of rising interest rates and inflation, the ongoing supply chain issues and personnel issues, Spaltman says Isuzu cannot see any significant slow down for some time to come.
“We have a lot of orders in the queue and our order write rate is up and continuing to grow at a significant rate of knots,” he said.
“There are just no signs of this slowing down and we have so many orders in the pipeline that this is not going to stop anytime soon,” he added.
“It you drive past any Isuzu truck dealer in the country you will see the yards full of trucks waiting for slots at body builders, which is currently the biggest challenge.”
While many other manufacturers have had to negotiate the uncertainty of faltering supply chains, particularly as a result of the global silicone chip shortages, Isuzu has been able to order and secure strong supply from its parent in Japan as well as putting in shipping strategies to ensure its supply gets here faster.
“Our forecasting team is very strong and our forecasting meetings can be long and intense, but we have used a lot of information to make what some might see as bold ordering calls which are paying off.
“When you tell Japan you are going to order twice the volume of trucks you would normally order they do ask some questions, but they believe in us because we have the results to back it up and they have supported us,” he added.
Spaltman says despite the ongoing sales success the process hasn’t been without stress, particularly with all of the environmental and external factors that are battering the economy.
“There is an endless number of crisis hitting the economy, NSW is back under flood again, the interest rate is rising and inflation is up but demand for trucks is still there and I am confident we can break all records this year,” Spaltman.
The Isuzu sales boss was keen to underline that he was not being arrogant with the claims, and that the stunning Isuzu results were as a result of the efforts of the local team, hard work and a bit of good fortune.
“Look I am sure the semi-conductor shortage has affected some of our competitors far more than it has us, so that is certainly a factor and the fact that we are one of the biggest global CBU export markets for Isuzu means we get a lot of support from Japan,” he said.
Isuzu Australia is the company’s second biggest importer behind the USA, but the American market features many locally assembled and CKD models, and in terms of volume the US only sells about three times the number of Isuzus sold in Australia, despite being about 13 times the population size. While Isuzu has less than two per cent market share in America, In Australia the brand finished June with an astounding 30 per cent overall share, and an even more stunning 51 per cent share of the light duty sector.
“It means that when we make bold ordering decisions Japan pays attention and we can secure the volume we ask for,” said Les.
T&B News sees echoes of Phil Taylor’s reign as Isuzu sales supremo, and with the current records tumbling, Spaltman and the current Isuzu sales team are sure to taste even more success in coming months.