The arrival of the new Isuzu D-Max has been delayed with most customers unlikely to receive their new pickup until the end of spring – or beyond.
The original launch window of September 2020 has been and gone, with coronavirus impacting development work on the 1.9-litre diesel engine’s selective catalyst removal system. The hold up with this essential emissions control technology has led to the UK launch moving to February 2021.
However, while limited numbers of the new D-Max will be arriving in the UK for dealer demonstrators and early customers in February, more significant supplies aren’t expected until several months later.
Although delayed from September, Isuzu says its plans haven’t otherwise changed. While the manufacturer’s official order books aren’t open yet, customers that placed deposits with dealers in time for the original launch date will now be waiting at least three months for delivery, and maybe as long as six months.
Adding to the complications are reports that the factory in Thailand is facing component shortages from a European supplier also affected by the coronavirus outbreak, leading to a cessation of production.
However, Professional Pickup & 4×4 understands that this will not impact the supply of UK vehicles. The issue is with a component shortage for the powerful 3.0-litre engine being in short supply, a model that is available in Australia and New Zealand, and will not affect the production of the 1.9-litre-powered model we’ll see in the UK.
“The new Isuzu D-Max is due to launch in the UK in Q1 2021,” an Isuzu UK spokesperson told Professional Pickup & 4×4. “There are no changes to that plan as far as we are concerned, with our arrangements continuing as normal.”
A second factory in South Africa has also seen its opening delayed, although this is not expected to produce any models for the European market, concentrating on the sub-Saharan markets of South Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe, amongst others.
Production of the existing D-Max model has now ceased, with no more supplies heading for the UK. Dealers are unable to acquire new stocks of Utility or All-Purpose pickups, relying on existing stock levels to satisfy demand.
The latest iteration of the Isuzu D-Max was launched in Thailand in October 2019 and is on sale across Southeastern Asia and Australasia. A mechanically identical model from Mazda, the BT-50, will not be available in the UK.