The “Freight & Export” transport and logistics industry’s annual awards ceremony was held in Belfast’s Waterfront last week and celebrates the best in class in the sector across all Ireland.
The glittering evening recognises many aspects from training and systems to safety and vehicles. In its 20th year the categories included “best pick-up” for the first time, hotly contested with a new model from Mercedes, the established Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok, and the first of a newly improved specification Isuzu D-Max.
This latter model is already a multiple award winner and now adds trailer sway control, redesigned lighter rear suspension on the double cab variants to reduce unsprung weight substantially and enhance ride comfort, plus
soft touch detailing to an already impressive and spacious cabin and a brace of striking new exterior colours.
The Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 series did not feature in the shortlist finalists, and the judges remarked how competitive this established class has become and pivotal to many businesses here.
The Isuzu D-Max was outright winner with the panel of experts commenting on its renowned power, class leading towing ability, superb quality and warranty, and outstanding low whole life costs. The coveted new trophy joins a cabinet that already houses 2018’s “What Van” Pick-Up of the Year and “Trade Van Best Workhorse”.
Accepting the award, Isuzu Northern Ireland Regional Manager Alastair Kerr thanked the judging panel and acknowledged the veracity of the competition, highlighting that Izuzu’s winning edge is that all they build is commercial vehicles and that stringent focus ensured their engineers delivered a pick-up designed to work every bit as hard as its buyers.
The latest D-Max’s are Euro 6 compliance without any need for AdBlue, another notable factor that has seen the Isuzu rise to dominance in some major NI corporate buyers pick-up fleets, and a host of flexible conversions are available from chipper tippers to cherry picker variants.
Isuzu currently has five specialist dealers in Northern Ireland and Mr Kerr was able to confirm it is intent on establishing new outlets in Antrim and Maydown early in 2019.
Three dealers are Fleet centres which provide guaranteed rapid turnround and extended opening hours, and loan B2B Vehicles for corporate clientele.
All NI dealers are trained to fully understand and assist customers with funding options and tacho and
towing legislation and much more.
Isuzu has a strategic partnershjp with Black Horse for retail finance packages and Lex Autolease manages its contract hire and lease schemes.