Hard Working Trucks recently turned to Isuzu Commercial Truck of America for some more insight into the medium-duty truck market.
Special thanks to Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing at Isuzu Commercial Truck, for taking the time to answer some questions.
HWT: What do customers generally spec in a medium duty truck?
Tabel: An Isuzu advantage is that Isuzu has been the number one selling low cab forward (LCF) truck in the US since 1986 and have taken that experience and have made building our vehicles easy to spec. Specing our N-Series is easy in a few steps:
- Choose from one of six different wheelbases
- Choose the three across seating of the regular cab or the seven seat crew cab
- Gas or diesel
- Any additional accessories or equipment you would like to add to the vehicle
- And of course the body or upfit you are going to use your Isuzu for
HWT: Online shopping has drastically increased through the years. UPS and USPS both report an increase in deliveries as a result. How has this trend impacted the medium duty truck segment?
Tabel: We have seen this change a lot in the last two years with new business and last mile services using the Isuzu to deliver the increasing demand of shipping and home good services. The demand continues to increase and more and more services are coming from this segment that will need trucks and with the safety, maneuverability and low cost of ownership makes Isuzu the best choice.
HWT: Are there other trends and/or industry developments that are affecting the medium-duty truck segment?
Tabel: We are still seeing growth in almost all segments as customers and businesses continue to replace older vehicles. The next round of Green House Gases emissions will change the industry as the new regulations come into place. The changes will impact both gas and diesel engines in the coming years.
HWT: How has customer interest been thus far in the 4-cylinder 2018 Isuzu FTR?
Tabel: We are getting steady requests for updates about our new Class 6 FTR due to come out the middle of 2017. A lot Class 6 customers are looking forward to seeing and driving the new Isuzu FTR. The truck is still being tested by Isuzu engineers but is performing well. We will have a number of prototype demos that will be able to be tested by current and potential customers in the coming future.