Isuzu Motors South Africa has just celebrated its first year as a fully-fledged local vehicle manufacturer after taking over the operations of General Motors.

The manufacturer has now consolidated its operations at its Struandale facility in Port Elizabeth.

Relocating the truck production facility from its Kempston road facility to Struandale was a R27 million venture. The company now builds its bakkies and trucks under one roof after the truck and pick-up businesses were merged last year when Isuzu Motors South Africa was established.

Isuzu’s investment has preserved 1000 direct jobs and secured around 4000 jobs through its network of 80 dealers in South Africa, and 35 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It’s been a wonderful year for Isuzu Motors South Africa. In this time, we have clocked up a couple of milestones and today is the second milestone achievement with the consolidation of our truck and bakkie plant. We have also seen very good sales success where our light commercial vehicle sales have grown by 8.7 %in the last year,” says Isuzu Corporate Affairs Executive, Densie van Huyssteen.

The new plant produces 18 trucks a day. The Struandale production layout is efficient and modern.

“It has a lot of benefits for us because everything is a lot more compact, closer to the production line and we can support the production line with infrastructure that we have here at our main plant and the benefits have shown with employee morale increasing and everyone is happy in this working environment,” says Isuzu Manufacturing & Supply Chain Executive, Johan Vermeulen.

Isuzu has produced trucks at the old Kempston Road facility for 21 years. It took eight months to prepare the new location and commissioning and start-up was completed in just seven weeks. This included training for the truck manufacturing team.

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