SML Isuzu, a joint venture between Japanese multi-national Sumitomo Corporation and Isuzu Motors, is targeting to increase its market share by around five per cent with its new set of global series trucks.
The company has invested around Rs 2 billion in a new line and paint shop for the new series. After the investment, the production capacity will be increased to 25,000 units in a single shift from 15,000 in one shift at present.
After showcasing the new global series trucks, which come with a new cabin, in Chennai on Wednesday, Naval Kumar Sharma, general manager (product sales and customer satisfaction), SML Isuzu, said that the company's current market share is around 12 per cent in the 5-12 tonne category and, with the new series, the company will be able to increase its share by five per cent.
SML Isuzu, which has been operational since 1984, was established as Swaraj Mazda Ltd. The company was renamed after its tie-up with Isuzu Motors, Japan, in 2010 as a technology/capital partner. The company comprises two business verticals -- LCV and ICV -- and manufactures trucks and buses, along with a range of special application vehicles.
According to Sharma's estimate, the company's industry volume (5-12 tonne) is around 100,000 units per annum, of which 55 per cent would be trucks and 45 per cent buses.
Sharma said that the company hopes to close the year with over 15,000 units as compared to 13,000 units in 2017-18, which was lower than the company's sales of 15,300 units in 2016-17. He attributed the drop to changes in regulation, including BS-III to BS-IV, demonetisation and other factors.
The company ruled out the possibility of entering the M&HCV space as it feels that it is already crowded.
Speaking about exports, Sharma said that currently, the company is exporting around 800 units and plans to increase this to around 1,200-1,500 units.