JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Isuzu Motors has confirmed an investment of R1.2-billion to assemble the brand’s next generation bakkies in South Africa – but wait, there’s more…
…another R2.8-billion will be generated through the life-cycle of the programme.
The development follows Isuzu’s takeover in 2018 of the brand’s light commercial vehicle operations as well as the balance of shareholding in the trucks business and will save 1000 direct jobs, another 4000 through the dealer network, and many more through its base of 430 suppliers.
‘COMMITED TO THE MARKET’
Yoichi Masuda, senior executive officer for Isuzu and chairman of Isuzu Motors SA board, hoped the move would grow the company’s annual bakkie production to 29 000 a year.
“Our decision to invest in the production of the next generation bakkie in South Africa,” he added, ”demonstrates our commitment to the SA market.”
Masuda emphasised the important role the government’s Automotive Production and Development Programme plays in providing predictability and stability for investors when making long-term business decisions.
“We are also working on various initiatives to ensure that we contribute to the SA Automotive Master Plan’s targets through coming years and acknowledge the instrumental role the SA government has played in enabling us to successfully operate in this market since January 2018.”
SA THE MAIN TARGET
Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel has welcomed the announcement. “This investment shows confidence in South African’s growth potential.”
South Africa will initially be the main market for the new bakkies but hopes the range will spread through sub-Saharan Africa.
Isuzu’s biggest markets in Sub-Saharan Africa includes Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Senegal, Ghana and Ivory Coast through which sales in increased by 17% over previous years.