We’ve all had to change our ways overnight, thanks to Covid-19. Buying a car in the old days meant a weekend visit to the showroom, where the sales advisor will unleash his skills on you, but this is no longer possible in the pandemic era.

Isuzu Malaysia says that its prospects and customers can expect a safer and more immersive experience in the era of the new normal, and that the constant threat of infections necessitates the enforcement of various safety measures, even as government restrictions begin to ease.

“The launch of our latest Isuzu D-Max model during the pandemic necessitated a paradigm shift in the way we presented our new models to prospective customers. As we move towards greater leniency, we need to vigilantly evolve yet remain relevant to the situation in our gemba,” said Kenkichi Sogo, the company’s new light commercial vehicle division COO.

Among the measures Isuzu Malaysia has initiated are the development of an online experience including a 360-degree augmented reality showcase offering prospects “an immersive look” into the design and features of the new D-Max before they even need to step into the showroom. Shopping tools such as loan calculations and maintenance costs are also available on the pickuptruck.isuzu.net.my website – this way, prospects would already be well informed before making the online request for a test drive.

As for the test drive itself, the vehicle will be brought to the customer at a safe and convenient location, Isuzu says. Procedures for vehicle service and maintenance have also been reviewed with the aim of ensuring minimal backlog and ensuring a smoother and efficient flow of vehicles. Customers are encouraged to make their service appointments directly with their dealers early.

With strong bookings for the new D-Max since its launch in April despite Malaysia’s various lockdowns, vehicle delivery is an area of focus for Isuzu Malaysia.

“Due to the restrictions in operations and the limited amount of logistics activities allowed over the past months, a key initiative will be to safely and efficiently deliver the new vehicles to their owners as quickly as possible. We hope all our customers will remain patient and maintain compliance to the set procedures to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for all,” Sogo added.

Sogo succeeds Masayuki Suzuki, who returns to Japan for his new posting. The 43-year old is no stranger to the Malaysian market, having spent the last four years in Isuzu Malaysia as GM overseeing operations of the light commercial vehicle division and parts operations. A Keio University graduate, Sogo started out in Mitsubishi Corp in 2001 and has been with Isuzu for the past seven years.

The third-generation Isuzu D-Max was launched here in April. There are seven CBU Thailand imported variants on offer. They are the 1.9L 4×4 Single Cab (RM88,599), 3.0L 4×4 Single Cab (RM95,538), 1.9L 4×4 MT Standard (RM99,599), 1.9L 4×4 AT Standard (RM106,999), 1.9L 4×4 AT Premium (RM121,549), 3.0L 4×4 AT Premium (RM128,038) and the range-topping 3.0L 4×4 AT X-Terrain (RM141,938).

Last month, Isuzu said that monthly bookings have been averaging at 1,200 units, more than double the normal 500-unit average. Powering the new model boom is the 1.9L AT Premium, which small displacement engine works well for Peninsular Malaysia in terms of road tax. Plenty of upgrades for this new generation – full details here and in the video below.

GALLERY: 2021 Isuzu D-Max 3.0L 4×4 AT X-Terrain

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