Isuzu South Africa is set to build the next generation Isuzu bakkie. The Gqeberha based manufacturer launched the new production line at its plant on Thursday.
The new production line will produce the seventh generation of the Isuzu bakkie, now named the D-MAX. Isuzu South Africa became a stand-alone manufacturer under 100 percent Japanese ownership when General Motors divested from South Africa in 2017.
GM produced the Isuzu bakkie under license before its departure. This project is the culmination of R1,2 billion investment.
Isuzu Motors SA CEO Billy Tom, says the technologies used are right up to date.
“These vehicles differ slightly from the current one because we are using newer technology, and when we speak to our employees they tell us the new vehicles are much easier to build, which was exciting for us because, from people’s point of view, they are more comfortable building them. And also we are using the latest technology, the engine we are using is the latest and are very environmentally friendly.”
The CEO of the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers South Africa (NAAMSA) Michael Mabasa says they are excited about the growth in the local market again after the lockdowns.
He says this investment will play an important role in attracting investors.
“We are very excited about the vehicle that Isuzu is launching and it will be producing here in South Africa because we want to encourage local production. So the R1.2 billion that was invested by Isuzu is critical for building investor confidence because with our economic recovery story, we really want to be able to make sure that we have the capacity to attract more and more, not only manufacturing in our country but those who are not manufacturing vehicles in South Africa.”
Isuzu launches a mass production line in Gqeberha: