After rolling out its 5 millionth unit three years ago, Isuzu’s Phrapradaeng Plant in Thailand’s Samutprakarn Province, recently achieved a significant feat when it produced a million more units for the brand.
The 57-year-old plant’s recent achievement once again secured its status as Isuzu’s most important production and export hub.
The Phrapradaeng Plant manufactured Isuzu’s Alterra SUV from 2004 to 2013 and has since been producing Mu-X SUVs in 2013 and D-Max pickup trucks in 2002.
Isuzu is considered one of the leading pickup truck manufacturers in Thailand that has been successfully serving the Thai automotive market and also that of 100 other countries.
Now, what probably could top the Phrapradaeng Plant’s latest accomplishment is the news that in the next several months, it will not only roll out D-Maxes powered by its famous diesel engines but also a battery-electric version of the popular pick-up truck.
Per a Nikkei Asia report, Isuzu Motors (Japan) has announced its plan to release a battery-electric version of the D-Max to be sold in Thailand and other countries by 2025.
This is an important development since pick-up trucks account for about half of Isuzu’s global sales. Thailand is also a major pick-up truck market and currently, it controls around half of the country’s pick-up truck sales.
The plan is for the Phrapradaeng Plant to produce the battery-electric D-Max (as of this writing, this version of Isuzu’s pick-up truck hasn’t been given a name yet, but some motoring journalists have wittingly named it the E-Max) and bring it first to Europe — particularly in Norway — where stringent regulations on emissions have prevented Isuzu from bringing in more of its diesel-powered models
Manufacturing an all-electric D-Max is in line with the Japanese vehicle maker’s plans prepared two years ago with a goal to release carbon-neutral light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks and pickups by 2030.
The battery-electric D-Max is the second battery-powered Isuzu vehicle nearing mass production. At the Work Truck Week event held in Indianapolis, Indiana in February, distributor Isuzu Commercial Truck of America debuted Isuzu’s first electric model, a variation of its N-Series truck.
Isuzu’s N-Series EV will be available in the first half of 2024 and will be sold not only in the United States but also in Canada and Japan.
It weighs 8,800 kg with a battery electric platform developed by Isuzu Motors Limited. There will be four choices of battery capacity — 60-, 100-, 140-, and 180-kWh (the largest) which has a range of up to 378 km.
When a vehicle diesel expert manufacturer like Isuzu is moving on to cleaner power sources, it’s considered a win for the environment and the planet as a whole. Especially for the people living in it.