The question on every Australian truck journo’s lips at last week’s Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo Could Isuzu have a new flagship Giga model headed to our shores with a 13 litre 530 hp diesel engine?
The possibility for Isuzu Australia come by way of the heavy duty Isuzu EXY model it now sells in Japan, but which is in every way, apart from the badges a UD. Thanks to Isuzu forking out $US2.25 billion to buy the UD brand from Volvo in 2020, it now not only sells the UD Quon in the Japanese domestic market, powered by Volvo’s 13 litre 530 horsepower diesel, but it also markets the identical Isuzu EXY as its flagship heavy duty model with the same driveline.
Isuzu has long lacked a truck to attack the prime mover market in heavies and Isuzu Australia boss, Andrew Harbison said if the company’s could access the EXy model to sell here in Australia it could give the company the weaponry to potentially become number one in heavy duty, where it is now number three, to back its market leadership in light and medium duty truck segments.
While Harbison would not be drawn on. whether the Australian operation will get the higher powered 13 litre model to market in Australia, he did say that that it was on the company’s wish list and the request has been made.
” In an ideal world we would certainly want the truck based on the UD , which we will get, but whether we are allowed to have the Volvo sourced driveline is a matter for negotiation,” Harbison said.
“It would be a great addition to our line up and enable us to play in an area where we don’t have a truck to compete,” he said.
The sticking point for the Isuzu desire to have the EXY Giga model. will most likely come in push back from Volvo Group Australia, which retained the distribution and sale of UD in Australia, despite its parent company selling the operation to Isuzu three years ago. We can’t imagine the company giving the brand up easily.