Truck market leader, Isuzu has urged which ever party is in power following the Federal election on 21 May, to put in place a ‘staged process’ when the current instant asset write off program is set to come to an end in June next year.
Speaking at the trade press briefing for the company’s updated 2022 model F series and heavy duty line up, COO Andrew Harbison said the instant asset write off had been a huge success, however due to supply issues and a massive backlog at body builders, many buyers may miss out on the write off because the trucks have to be registered and working by 30 June 2023, even though they may well have been ordered more than a year before that.
“It’s 15 months till the asset write off program ends, but every maker is having trouble getting trucks built to satisfy the demand in the market,” said Harbison.
“The write off must be tapered off and come to an end at some stage, but what we would like to see is a system to ensure trucks ordered before then, but which are delayed in delivery, due to supply issues, can still benefit from the write off,” Harbison said.
He said he believed the current government is listening to the peak industry body, TIC, as well as the HVIA and the ATA, and has said as much, but there is little in the way of certainty and stated policy.
“What we need is immediate clarity today ,” Harbison said.
“There needs to be an orderly progression in winding the program back to ensure that it doesn’t fall in a hole,” he added.
The Isuzu boss said the stimulus that the program has provided is only part of the picture when it comes to the boom in the truck market which see the market on track for a new record and Isuzu sales up 27.8 per cent for the year, with the prospect it may beat its own sales volume record by around 2000 units this year.
“If everything stays on track we could do more than 12000 trucks this year,” he said. Isuzu’s annual record of 10175 was set last year in 2021, which was 148 up on the previous record in 2018.
At this time in 2021, Isuzu had sold 2034 trucks, but already this year it has sold 2450 units with an order bank stretching out well into next year.
Isuzu believes the update of its class leading F Series medium duty as well as its highly successful heavy duty models will help it achieve the bold sales prediction for this year, and believes the strong demand for new trucks is driving better safety on our roads.
“New equals safer,” Harbison told the assembled truck press. “The massive freight task, the infrastructure spend and the instant asset write off are driving the market but the thing it is benefitting more than just the economy, is safety” he added.
“We have a stagnant average truck age and so the more newer truck with safety packages we can get on the road the better our roads will be,” he added.
Safety is a key feature for the new F Series, as it was with the N Series a month or so back. Although Isuzu was late to the safety party it has come on quickly and despite some gaps in its safety package across the range, Isuzu is claiming it has levelled the playing field when it comes to safety.
Like the N Series most of the updated F series models get the Isuzu ADAS system, and in the F models there is a different single camera and radar system instead of the stereo camera system in the smaller Isuzus.
With a few exceptions the F models have Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) along with Electronic Braking System (EBS and Distance Warning System using Knorr Bremse braking and safety systems. Along with that many of the models get full air braking systems, an upgrade from the air over hydraulic systems that have been used oil many of the medium duty models in the past. This Isuzu says delivers improved braking performance.
Along with a new ‘face’ and new headlights across F series and heavy duty models, inside the cab there is a new locally developed 10.1″ AV unit incorporating a reversing camera and a bunch of features that includes Android Auto and eventually Apple CarPlay (Isuzu is still waiting approval from the ‘Big Apple’) and it should be available sometime in the next few months. Along with a full suite of features the AV unit features navigation using HERE mapping, along with wireless phone charging.
As it drags itself into the 21st century Isuzu is also now including steering wheel controls on its F series models that make for safer and more efficient operation of things like cruise control and information from the 4.2 ” colour TFT multi info display in front of the driver.
We will have a full rundown of the Isuzu updated medium duty models in the next few weeks, but along with the technical updates, like the N Series, Isuzu has announce it will now offer a Six year/ 600,000km warranty across most of the range along with a six year roadside assistance program.
There are some exceptions, including models that are operated in harsh conditions including concrete agitators and rubbish trucks, as well as 4WD off road models, all of which get 3 years/300,000km warranty along with a new unlimited no stipulation engine hours cover. Most of the normal operating cycle trucks in the range get a 10,000 hours engine warranty line, while most models also get a 3 year body coverage. There is a complex and nuanced list of warranty improvements that will be published later on T&B News, including the updated 4×4 models.
Isuzu intimated this will be the last update in the model cycle for the F Series. with a full model change likely to come in the third quarter of 2023, perhaps around the time of the next Tokyo Motor Show.