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Isuzu comes ashore for bakkie-building in SA

  • Isuzu Motors South Africa is officially launched
  • ‘Head office’ comes to visit in Port Elizabeth
  • First 100%-owned plant outside Japan 
 Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and Managing Director Michael Sacke (right) hosted Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies during a tour of the newly celebrated Isuzu Motors South Africa production facility in Struandale, Port Elizabeth.
WATCHING THE PASSING SHOW: Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and Managing Director Michael Sacke (right) hosted SA’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies during a tour of the new Isuzu Motors SA plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth. Image: Sipplied

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Isuzu Motors has announced the official launch of business operations in South Africa – a happy conclusion since the 2017 announcement that it would buy the light commercial vehicle operations here and the balance of shareholding in its Isuzu Trucks SA operations.

The event was marked, at the Struandale plant, by the president and representative director of Isuzu Motors Japan, Masanori Katayama,  who said Isuzu was committed to growing its business in South Africa.

“This is the first commercial and light commercial vehicle manufacturing operation outside of Japan in which we have acquired a 100% ownership.  We are represented in 30 countries outside of Japan and operate 47 plants in these countries with joint-venture partners.

From left ambassador of Japan to South Africa, Shigeyuki Hiroki, Isuzu Motors Ltd. President and Director Masanori Katayama, Isuzu Motors Ltd. Senior Executive Officer and Isuzu Motors South Africa Chairman, Haruyasu Tanishige, celebrate the joyous occasion with Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and Managing Director Michael Sacke
TOP GUYS TAKE A LOOK: From left, Shigeyuki Hiroki (ambassador of Japan to South Africa), Isuzu Motors’ president and director Masanori Katayama, and Isuzu Motors’ senior executive officer Haruyasu Tanishige go down the line. Image: Supplied

“Our decision on South Africa demonstrates the confidence we have in this market and indicates our longer-term view that the country will be an important base for growth in Africa.”

In early 2017 the company acquired 57.7% of the Kenyan truck and bus assembly operation which supplies East African markets and now has a leading 34% share of the Kenyan new-vehicle market.

READ MORE Isuzu features on Carman’s Corner

Isuzu also has a 20% shareholding in a joint venture in Egypt, where the company has led the market for 10 years.  The light commercial vehicle pick-up assembled there has more than 90% of the market segment with Isuzu KB bakkies.


Isuzu Motors SA’s CEO / MD Michael Sacke said that the company’s initial focus would be consolidation of operations on which to build success. “Our short-term focus is on transitional plans, sustainability, strengthening our product portfolio and relocating the truck operations from Kempston Road to Struandale.

”As we do this we will demonstrate excellence in everything we do and the ability to lead in key segments of the market.”

He wants to grow sales in SA and export more into sub-Saharan Africa.

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