Trade Minister visits Isuzu facilities

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel, visited Isuzu’s Eastern Cape vehicle manufacturer’s production facilities in Struandale, Gqeberha and met with the President and CEO, Billy Tom and Isuzu senior leadership to discuss key priorities relating to the business.

FROM LEFT Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa and Billy Tom President and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa 1800x1800

Ebrahim previously visited Isuzu in 2019, shortly before an announcement that Isuzu would be investing R1.2-billion into its next generation bakkie programme in South Africa for the South African and Sub-Saharan Africa markets.

The decision resulted in the security of 1 000 jobs directly at Isuzu’s operations in Gqeberha and across its national and international dealer network, as well as around 25 000 jobs at hundreds of suppliers across the country.

Today Billy updated the ministerial delegation on the progress made on the investment, including manufacturing plant upgrades to meet the new vehicle requirements and the state of readiness to launch exciting new Isuzu products into the market.

The new Isuzu D-MAX bakkie will be launched early next year, and 2022 will also see the launch of Isuzu’s next generation trucks – all locally manufactured in Gqeberha.

From left to right: Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa and Billy Tom President and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa.

Extensive building has taken place over the past two years to ready the production facilities for the brand-new Isuzu light commercial and heavy commercial vehicles. The investment also involves significant upgrades to tooling and equipment, as well as refurbishing the current line to support an extension in the manufacturing of current Isuzu models.

“Our focus remains on being able to ensure the sustainability of Isuzu’s operations in South Africa. We are committed to transformation and believe that an inclusive economy is the foundation to economic prosperity for all citizens,” said Billy.

In September Isuzu announced it had maintained an automotive industry-leading level one in its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment audit for a second consecutive year.

“We ascribe to the 2035 vision of the South Africa Automotive Masterplan to be a globally competitive and transformed industry that actively contributes to the sustainable development of South Africa’s productive economy,” he concluded.

Isuzu grew its market share on the D-MAX bakkie in 2020/ 2021 and maintained the number one position for market share with its N and F-Series trucks in the South African market.

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