PORT ELIZABETH– Upgrades and modifications to the Isuzu Motors SA plant in Port Elizabeth are under way to prepare for assembly of the seventh-generation Isuzu D-MAX bakkie.
Isuzu Japan, towards the end of 2019, confirmed the investment into South Africa of R1.2-billion for its next bakkie programme.
Dominic Rimmer, chief of technical operations at the plant, said new programmes of this nature and size had complex requirements requiring the localisation of a diverse set of components and systems, local sourcing of supplier and in-house tooling and equipment, and production-line modifications.
He told The Corner in a media release: “Our project launch team is working at an accelerated pace. We anticipate being ready for the first units to exit the production line during the second half of 2021.
“Our bakkies are locally engineered to meet the requirements of local and sub-Saharan markets to ensure our products maintain high-quality while retaining a reputation for reliability, capability and durability.”
The coming Isuzu D-MAX will benefit from bold styling, power-train changes, and significant improvements in overall refinement to cater for the diverse customer’ needs.”
South Africa, The Corner was told, will be the main market for new pick-ups but with growing volumes expected to be generated from the company’s sub-Saharan Africa growth strategy.