Isuzu Motors to go it alone
Isuzu Motors (IM) intends to purchase General Motors (GM) South African light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations.
According to IM, this will strengthen its presence in the local market.
“After a thorough assessment of our South African operations, we believe it is best for Isuzu to integrate light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations into its African business,” explains Stefan Jacoby, GM executive vice president and president of GM International.
“We determined that continued or increased investment in manufacturing in South Africa would not provide GM with the expected returns of other global investment opportunities.”
IM intends to purchase the Struandale manufacturing plant and GM’s minority shareholding in Isuzu Truck South Africa (ITSA) to continue manufacturing the Isuzu KB and medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks in Port Elizabeth – subject to competition regulatory approval.
It will also assume control of GM’s Parts Distribution Centre and Vehicle Conversion and Distribution Centre and will set up its own dedicated dealer network to market, distribute and service light commercial vehicles for existing and new Isuzu customers.
“We are committed to the South African market,” emphasised Haruyasu Tanishige, senior executive officer for the Sales Division of Isuzu Motors.
“The integration of our light commercial and medium- and heavy-duty commercial business will strengthen our base to grow here.
“We will do this through our focus on providing outstanding after-sales and customer support, establishing close relationships with our local partners and expanding our business.
Isuzu is building a base to grow on the African continent in the long term.
“Evidence of this is our recent purchase of GM’s 57.7% shareholding in its East African operations, which has given us management control of the company.
“Integrating the South African light commercial vehicle operations into our business is the next step in laying the foundation for our growth plans in the future.”
Isuzu vehicles have had a presence in South Africa since assembly began over 44 years ago.
For the past four years, Isuzu has occupied the number one position in the medium- and the heavy-duty commercial truck segment of the South African truck market.