Pete Murphy, MD Isuzu Truck (UK) sees “some glimmers of light” - #TruckingBritainOutOfCovid19

Will Shiers
May 7, 2020

“It’s a crazy world at the moment. It’s like we’ve all become extras in a Hollywood disaster movie,” exclaimed Isuzu Truck (UK)’s MD Pete Murphy, commenting on the Covid-19 pandemic. “If at the back end of last year someone had said to me would you settle for just having Brexit to worry about, with the benefit of hindsight I would have accepted it like a shot.” 

As the UK entered lockdown, so Isuzu experienced a 92% reduction in orders for new trucks, and its parts business was reduced by half. He said the workshops experienced 80% less throughput, yet remained open, “providing brilliant support and vital cover to the transport operators”. 

But despite Covid-19 “cutting very deep”, Murphy confirms that “some glimmers of light are emerging over the horizon”. He cites the positive conversations he’s starting to have with fleets as an example of this. “It’s mainly stuff we were discussing pre-lockdown, but it’s positive that we are in discussions again. So, that’s very welcome,” said Murphy, who confirmed that Isuzu Truck’s Italian plant reopened this week. 


He is delighted to see that some bodybuilders are starting to open their doors again, albeit on slightly reduced capacity. “We can do everything at our end, but if we have nowhere to put the trucks or if the trucks are trapped [at the bodybuilder] for customer orders, there is not a lot we can do about it,” he said. 

As operators parked-up trucks, so Isuzu Truck supported them by freezing R&M contracts. But Murphy confirms that some, particularly in the construction sector, are now requesting that these be unfrozen. “

Referring to those glimmers on the horizon again, Murphy concluded: “I think it is important that we start to look towards the light, no matter how far away in the distance it is. It’s important that we all focus in that area.” 


About the Author


Will Shiers

Will has been the editor of Commercial Motor magazine since 2011 and is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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