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Isuzu Motors to release new pickup truck in Thailand.

BANGKOK, Aug. 7 Kyodo

Isuzu Motors Ltd. said Monday it will shortly release a new pickup truck in Thailand, the biggest automobile market in Southeast Asia.

To launch the new vehicle, the automaker has restyled the exterior and interior of the D-MAX pickup model released in 2002, while giving the new model higher engine power and better fuel economy.

Isuzu President Yoshinori Ida told a news conference, ''Given that local dealers have favorably responded to the new pickup truck, it is likely that local customers will like it.''

With the new pickup, Isuzu wants to expand its share in the Thai market and outdo Toyota Motor Corp.

Isuzu remained the No. 1 pickup truck seller for the 10th consecutive year in 2005 with sales of 163,000 units. In terms of monthly sales, however, Toyota took the No. 1 position from Isuzu in May and June of this year.

An Isuzu official said Thai consumers refrained from buying Isuzu pickups in the two-month period in light of tips it was on the verge of taking the wraps off the new pickup.

Although Japanese consumers are not so familiar with pickup trucks, the vehicles have been popular in North America and elsewhere in Asia.

Isuzu commenced Thailand's pickup production in 1994.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 14, 2006
Words:210
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