A trio of 1989 Isuzu trucks. The company got to number one that year - and has remained there ever since

A trio of 1989 Isuzu trucks. The company got to number one that year – and has remained there ever since

In the car land light-commercial businesses Toyota is shouting out that it’s been at the top of the sales tree for 11 straight years. Which is true, but that’s small time compared with Isuzu Trucks, which clicked over 25 consecutive years of Australian truck sales leadership at the end of 2013.

During that time Ford, Holden and Toyota have squabbled noisily over their top spots – while Isuzu Trucks has quietly and efficiently got on with business.

Truck numbers are aren’t nearly as high as car and SUV figures, but Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has sold more than 138,000 trucks over the past 25 years. Almost one in every four new trucks sold downunder now has an Isuzu badge.

Overall 2013 was a challenging year for the truck market, with marginally fewer sales compared to 2012. According to official T-mark industry reports, Isuzu Australia finished 2013 with a total of 6814 truck sales and 22.2 per cent market share, almost nine per cent clear of its closest rival.

2013 Isuzu FRR 600

2013 Isuzu FRR 600

Isuzu continued to dominate the light market with a total of 3246 units for a huge 38 per cent share, while also easily leading the medium market with 2657 units for a 39.9 per cent share.

In the heavy truck market Isuzu doesn’t feature nearly as strongly, finishing in fourth place achieving an 8.2 per cent share.
In 1989 the Isuzu model line-up featured 30 variants; 25 years later the model range offers over 160 variants – by far the broadest range of any truck marque in Australia.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) director and COO, Phil Taylor, says; “There are very few companies across any product category that can claim 25 consecutive years of sales leadership, let alone in an industry as mature and competitive as the Australian truck market.

“There’s little time to celebrate. The competition grows stronger and we must remain steadfastly focused on continuing to provide the market with a broad range of high quality trucks, complemented by industry-best aftersales products and support services. If we do this the strong sales results will continue to follow.”

Mr Taylor said he expected truck sales to increase in 2014 in line with an improving Australian economy and greater business confidence.

“IAL analysts are forecasting total market growth this year in the vicinity of five per cent. Stability in Government, historically low interest rates and positive trending confidence all point to a more buoyant sales environment in 2014.”

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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