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Isuzu sets sights on selling a UK 4x4

Date: 12 December 2006   |   Author: Steve Banner

Isuzu may return to the UK car market in 2009 with a five- to eight-seater five-door 4x4 using the same chassis-based platform as the latest Rodeo pick-up.

It will be the successor to the MU-7, also Rodeo-based but not sold in Britain, and will in effect replace the Trooper.

It is likely to be offered in both manual and automatic guise, with 4x4 and low-ratio gears engaged by pressing buttons on the dashboard. Hopefully, it will be powered by a further development of the MU-7's smooth-running 163PS 3.0-litre common-rail four-cylinder diesel engine.

"We'd need to be confident of selling 5000 a year at least across Europe to make the exercise viable," says Shigeru Wakabayashi, managing director of Isuzu's European marketing operation. It is likely that this figure will be achieved now that Isuzu is strengthening its Continental distribution arrangements.