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Isuzu Ute Australia is counting down to a major milestone, as the Japanese company this year celebrates its 100 year anniversary.

After launching the D-Max locally in 2008 and the MU-X in 2013, Isuzu finished 2016 with a cumulative sales total of 94,376 and expects to hit the 100,000 mark in the first half of the year.

The annual increase of sales of both the D-Max and MU-X has been impressive. With an average growth of around 30 per cent a year between 2008 and 2013, a whopping 63 per cent increase in 2014 and more than 20 per cent in 2015.

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In 2016, Isuzu sold 16,359 D-Max light commercial vehicles in Australia, alongside 7018 MU-X models to clock up an 11 per cent sale increase.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017 D-Max and 2016.5 MU-X, Isuzu Ute Australia Managing Director and CEO, Yasuhiro ‘Yasu’ Takeuchi, said Isuzu is hoping the refreshed 2017 D-Max will be enough to continue the double-digit annual rises.

Yasu noted however that despite the continued growth, last year wasn’t a shining example of what he believes the brand is capable of here.

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“2016 was an excellent year for Isuzu Ute. We sold over 23,000 vehicles and made 11 per cent growth. That is an excellent result for us, but, on the flip side, 11 per cent growth is the worst record of Isuzu Ute. Since the commencement of our business in 2008, for 8 years have achieved double-digit growth. The previous worst record was 22 per cent,” he said.

“We now have these new models, so we believe we can continue to grow. My dream is for 10 years, we continue to grow by double digits. That’s my dream.”

With just 5624 sales to go, the Japanese brand is tipping it will hit that milestone during the second quarter of this year, which would be a serendipitous occasion given that Isuzu is also celebrating 100 years.

As part of the centenary, a special edition D-Max X-Runner has been released. Just 600 examples will be made.

MORE: 2017 Isuzu D-Max review
MORE: 2016.5 Isuzu MU-X review
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