Production of the new Isuzu D-Max is ramping back up again after a parts shortage temporarily interrupted supply of Australian models.
Earlier this month, Isuzu Ute Australia issued an urgent bulletin to dealers and wrote to customers to apologise for an unexpected delay in production at its Thailand factory due to a critical component not being available out of Europe.
Isuzu’s initial forecast was that the new Isuzu D-Max could be out of production for up to three months.
However, Isuzu Ute Australia has confirmed the production line is running again, although at a reduced capacity.
A statement from Isuzu Ute Australia said: "We can confirm that all-new D-Max production for the Australian market is operational. However, there continues to be ongoing supply delays ... specifically for Australian market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Therefore, we will unfortunately be unable to fully meet the unprecedented levels of vehicle demand presently. (Isuzu Ute Australia) and all related parties continue to follow up this mater daily to ensure a quick recovery to meet the Australian market demand as soon as possible.
"We also remain committed to keeping dealers informed (about) their vehicle orders, so they can pass this information on to their customers as quick as possible. We’d like to apologise for the situation and thank everyone for their support and understanding during this challenging time."
While the exact part at the centre of the production delay is still unknown, the shortage only affected Australia-bound versions of the new Isuzu D-Max ute.
Oddly, the new Mazda BT-50 ute – the identical twin under the skin to the new Isuzu D-Max – was not affected by the parts shortage.
On the contrary, Mazda ordered the new BT-50 in bulk at the start of production and most Australian dealers can deliver most models immediately.
The drama came at a bad time for Isuzu. The company already had a wait time of up to three months for some variants of the new D-Max.
With the interruption to production, the delivery time for the new Isuzu D-Max was expected to blow out to between three and six months due to the three-month delay.
However, the issue has been resolved sooner than expected and Isuzu is now ramping up production of the new D-Max.
Regarding the initial pause in production, a statement from Isuzu Ute Australia issued earlier this month said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Isuzu Ute Australia regrettably advises that production of the (new) Isuzu D-Max has been temporarily put on hold.
"The unfortunate pause in vehicle production is related to one of our key component suppliers in Europe (producing unique components for our Australian-specification D-Max) has had to temporally close their manufacturing plant due to COVID-19.
"As a result we have had to suspend our D-MAX production in Thailand for up to three months, with a tentative recommencement of vehicle production of February 2021." Isuzu said the pause in production does not affect the MU-X SUV.”