IN 2017, General Motors announced it was exiting the local market. Although Chevrolet has left South Africa, Opel and Isuzu have remained.
Opel has been committed to its message of “we’re here to stay”, with new models launched locally, an influx of capital courtesy of its new stakeholder, the Peugeot-Citroen group (PSA), and flogging hundreds of vehicles each month.
Isuzu relaunched as Isuzu Motors and purchased GM’s light commercial vehicle operations in Port Elizabeth.
Isuzu Motors confirmed, in February, it would launch its first passenger vehicle here, the MU-X, and the SUV arrived locally in May 2018.
Since January, Isuzu has sold 10 137 KB bakkies and a total of 367 MU-X SUVs since its launch in June. Take a look at their month-to-month sales further below for each vehicle.
Isuzu Motors South Africa told Wheels24: “Our Isuzu bakkie volume in the South African market has increased by 12.2% year to date versus the same period last year. In fact, the month of August represented our highest bakkie volume since January 2016.
“Our exports, which primarily comprise of Isuzu bakkies, into Sub-Saharan Africa are up by over 20% year to date versus the same period last year. While this growth is off a relatively low base, we see great opportunity to further grow our volume in these markets in the long-term.
“We only introduced our all-new SUV, the Isuzu mu-X, into the domestic market just over three months ago, and so it is therefore too soon to comment on sales performance.
“We are, however, pleased with the visibility the vehicle has in the market place and the positive feedback we have received regarding its styling, features and capabilities.
“This provides a great initial foundation as we look to grow these volumes through their demonstrated reliability and the backing of our Isuzu dealer network.
“It is worth noting that year to date we continue to lead in the medium and heavy commercial segments of the South African truck market. In fact, we have led in these specific segments for five years in a row.
“Overall, given that Isuzu Motors South Africa only became operational from January this year, we are very pleased with our performance in the market.
“We will continue to partner with our dealers to build our brand.