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Isuzu Launches New Initiatives to Manage Vehicle Maintenance Costs

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. introduces the Priority Service Maintenance Program to provide truck fleet managers guaranteed preventive maintenance with fixed parts and labor expenses.

January 2010, Work Truck - Feature

by - Also by this author

To run a successful business, there is one thing most companies must do: Give customers what they want, and more importantly, what they need. Isuzu has launched a new maintenance program to give its fleet customers what they have requested.

"What you find is that these people understand their business, but they don't understand trucks," says Todd Bloom, vice president of marketing at Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. "And they shouldn't."

With that in mind, Isuzu Commercial Truck designed its Priority Service Maintenance Program (PSMP), which guarantees preventive maintenance with fixed parts and labor expenses.

Bloom says the program was developed because dealers, customers, and transportation consultants alike requested such a service.

"The Priority Service Maintenance Program was developed as a way to respond to the market need to provide what is basically worry-free ownership of, or operation of, a truck during a certain period of time," explains Bloom.

Tested for more than two years, the PSMP was originally launched in 2008, says Bloom. However, it wasn't made public until the dealerships went through a series of trainings to fully understand how the program worked and how to present it to customers.

PM Costs Guaranteed Coverage

Depending on the vehicle's lease term, mileage, and utilization, PSMP purchasers receive guaranteed preventive maintenance costs with fixed parts and labor expenses for three to six years.

Eligible vehicles for PSMP are all-new Isuzu vehicles, including all 2008 N/F-Series, newer diesel and gasoline-model, and Chevrolet/GMC W-Series vehicles.

According to Bloom, fleet customers are offered the service during the purchasing process and have up to a year to decide whether to participate in the program.

The program can be financed in conjunction with a lease or finance contract through Isuzu Finance of America Inc. (IFAI), if approved. Standard extended powertrain warranty coverage is included in the PSMP with terms that exceed the vehicle's base warranty. The program allows one payment to cover vehicle cost and scheduled preventive maintenance, with additional available options.

"You're covering that vehicle for a certain period of time," explains Bloom. "[The program] covers the basics, depending on the level of service and the amount of time that you have on it."

Bloom further says customers can choose from a variety of different packages, depending on the time and services desired.

3 Service Levels Offered

Currently, the program offers three covered services - "A," "B," and "C"- each providing service levels for predetermined mileages.

The basic "A" service offers standard scheduled maintenance for every 10,000 miles (diesel) or 7,500 miles (gasoline). The "B" service adds more features and increased mileage (50,000 miles for diesel, 37,500 for gasoline). Lastly, the "C" service covers 100,000 miles for diesel models or 75,000 miles for gasoline, with more services included in the latter option. In addition, all diesel services include a report from Isuzu's Data Recording Module (DRM). This tool helps fleets manage a vehicle's overall operation and lower ownership costs by monitoring fuel utilization and mileage, braking patterns, and numerous additional operations.

If a fleet's needs don't fit any of the three offered categories, "fleet managers can tailor the program to exactly their needs," Bloom says.

For example, if a fleet manager knows a vehicle will be operated for 30,000 miles per year, and he or she expects to sign a three-year package, picking a single option might not be in the fleet's best interest. Instead, particular options can be selected from each service to build a service tailored to the fleet.

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