Isuzu's UK importer appointed 15 new dealers in February alone and the West Bromwich-based subsidiary of International Motors Limited claims to be well on target to increase its representation from 79 at the start of 2004 to 100 by the end of the year.

In addition to the 15 new appointments there are another 10 'hot prospects' according to national franchise development manager Terry Leach, who has an ultimate network goal of 125 dealers.

Leach said: "The reason for our success in attracting high quality, skilled and enthusiastic new dealers is simple. The new Rodeo one-tonne pickup is winning widespread praise in the marketplace, while Isuzu is renowned for its diesel engine and light truck expertise.

"In addition, many see Isuzu as a comfortable 'bolt-on' to an existing franchise and set up costs are sensible with strong technical and managerial support from ourselves."

He added that the new Rodeo offer dealers tremendous sales potential while the Trooper SUV enjoys a strong following with many after sales and servicing opportunities.