You're wrong about the 2022 Subaru WRX, and here's why | Opinion
Right now, Subaru executives in Japan must be facepalming over some of the...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
At the launch of the new-generation MU-X, Isuzu has alluded to the concept of higher-spec, off-road-focused versions of its D-Max and MU-X range but says its current stock issues are more pressing.
The brand’s usual position on models beyond its current catalogue is that it “doesn’t talk about future product” and initial questions surrounding more hardcore variants were brushed off with the line: “Isuzu will always watch and listen to customer feedback, and if we find the demand, we can do it for Australian customers.”
But when pressed by CarsGuide on the clear local demand for high-end special variants being fulfilled by rivals like Ford’s ever-present Ranger Raptor, Nissan’s Navara Warrior and Volkswagen’s Amarok W580, Isuzu’s local executives gave some ground.
“We are aware of demand for those products,” the brand’s sales director, Koichiro Yoshida, conceded, “and we are discussing the potential for higher-end models generally, but these we cannot talk about yet.”
When pressed further on whether this looks like a factory-built variant like the Ranger Raptor, or a locally engineered partnership like the Walkinshaw Amarok or Premcar Navara, the Isuzu panel said it wouldn’t comment further.
“Of course, these are all conversations we are having,” said the brand’s marketing boss, Mike Conybeare, “but right now we need to get on top of our stock issue.”
Isuzu has been facing ongoing issues with stock levels for its popular D-Max since the launch of the new-generation truck last year. The brand cannot even be clear on how long the wait times will be if you were to order one today, with customers currently waiting between two weeks and eight months depending on the variant and colour combination chosen. CarsGuide understands the popular high-spec variants are generally attracting longer wait times.
Clarifying as best he could, the brand’s managing director Hiroyasu Sato said: “We need to have answers for those customers that are already waiting, but the situation is changing day by day.”
“We are struggling for semiconductor supply, and that will continue for some time. We are aiming to be transparent with customers, but a timeframe is difficult to give, we can’t give one until we get a build date from the factory. We’re working through it on a week-to-week basis.”
Isuzu Ute Australia wouldn’t comment on the availability of the D-Max-based Mazda BT-50, as it says it can’t comment on the contract between its parent company in Japan and Mazda.
Sales, generally, have been good for the D-Max since the introduction of the new generation, rising to a number three position in the market. It broke its own sales records in June; however, the brand says its issues sourcing stock are currently holding it back.
“We’re restricted by supply, but we’re not alone in that, a lot of other brands are hindered by production. We’d love number three ongoing,” Mr Conybeare said.
The panel assured media that the amount of initial Australian stock it had earmarked for the new MU-X would be sufficient to meet demand in the short term.