Isuzu celebrates 80 year anniversary with customers

2017-04-25 07:40
The Isuzu   Photo: supplied

The Isuzu Photo: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

IT’S a year of celebration for Isuzu Motors Limited of Japan as it commemorates the establishment of the company in April 1937. Locally, Isuzu will celebrate with customers at Isuzu dealers across the country on Saturday 22 April.
“Isuzu National Dealer Day” will see customers and fans of the brand descend on participating Isuzu dealerships all over South Africa. In addition to celebrating this key milestone, Isuzu will reveal the recently introduced X-Rider model to customers.

“Isuzu has a strong heritage and a firmly established reputation as a manufacturer of rugged and reliable commercial vehicles. This year while we are celebrating the brand’s long history we are also focused on the future as we reveal the new X-Rider. Isuzu continues to charge ahead in pursuit of reliability, durability, and eco-friendliness. Engineered in South Africa, the Isuzu KB continues to set new standards of durability, balanced design and meticulous attention to detail,” says Mlungisi Nonkonyana, Isuzu Brand Manager.

Isuzu is a Japanese vehicle and engine manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo.

The company’s roots can be traced back more than a century, to 1916 when the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited was formed. It started out building trucks under licence from British company, Wolseley.

There were various acquisitions and mergers in the 1930s and 1940s, resulting in the eventual formation of Isuzu Motors Limited – Isuzu also being the name of a Japanese river. Translated into English it means ‘Fifty Bells”.

Isuzu established a diesel research committee in 1934 and poured its energies into the development of diesel engines, a technology that had not yet been commercially established even in the advanced nations of Europe and North America. In 1936 the company introduced the air-cooled 5,3-litre DA6 diesel engine, followed three years later by the DA4, which went on to serve as the foundation of all later generations of Isuzu diesel engines.

These were Japan’s first commercial diesel engines and marked a breakthrough in the history of diesel engine development. Automobile Industries was merged with two other companies into Tokyo Automobile Industries Company Limited in 1937 and in 1941 the Japanese government designated the company as the only one permitted to manufacture diesel-powered vehicles. The company was renamed Isuzu Motors Limited in 1949 and established itself as an industry leader in diesel engine technology.

Since then, the company has supplied industrial engines for various types of applications, including construction machinery, generators, and even snow vehicles to be used for expeditions in the harsh and precarious conditions of the South Pole, maintaining a strong reputation among industrial machinery manufacturers both in Japan and overseas.

The South African Isuzu story started in the early 1970s with the launch of the Chevrolet LUV (Light Utility Vehicle), in essence the first Isuzu “bakkie”, which was imported from Japan.

Local production of the LUV commenced in 1972 at the Kempston Road plant in Port Elizabeth and in 1973 Isuzu-based trucks were introduced for the first time.

The KB nomenclature which is unique to South Africa was first introduced when the facelifted LUV was released in 1979, but this time branded as an Isuzu KB. The following year saw the South African introduction of the Isuzu KB40, the first petrol and diesel powered four-wheel drive pick-up from Japan.

By the start of the 1980s, Isuzu led the global industry in the field of direct-injection diesel engines for light trucks, and in 1981 introduced a design that featured both high output and low fuel consumption and led the way with technology that made diesels more user-friendly.

Now in its 6th Generation, the Isuzu KB continues the legacy established by the LUV as a refined and dependable product engineered to suit the fast-changing needs of South African consumers.

Isuzu has produced almost 25 million diesel engines and its pick-ups are available in over 100 countries.

- Supplied.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.