Isuzu is ready to keep South Africa moving: All-new D-Max bakkie given the nod by DTIC

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  • Isuzu is all set to launch the new D-Max bakkie in South Africa next year.
  • Production line is ready to produce models for local and export markets.
  • Isuzu has secured its workforce job security by investing more than R1.2 billion.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

In 2019, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Ebrahim Patel visited Isuzu South Africa's production facilities in the Eastern Cape to inaugurate an R1.2 billion investment. The investment formed part of the Japanese commercial vehicle specialist's commitment to producing the all-new D-Max bakkie in South Africa for Mzansi and particular export markets worldwide.

The minister returned to the Isuzu factory earlier this week for a tour of the facility and an update on the D-Max roll-out and how the building of this bakkie in South Africa directly impacts livelihoods. Isuzu Motors South Africa president and CEO Billy Tom updated the minister on progress and the direct impact the truck maker has had on ensuring South Africans remain employed in this challenging economic time.

Tom said: "Our decision to build the new D-Max in South Africa has resulted in the security of 1 000 jobs at Isuzu's facilities in Gqeberha and across our national and international dealer network. Extensive building has taken place over the past two years to ready the production facilities. The investment also involved significant upgrades to tooling and equipment and refurbishing the current line to support an extension in the manufacturing of current Isuzu models."

Isuzu D-Max
All-new Isuzu D-Max undergoing testing in South Africa


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No jobs lost

Tom said that in addition to the upskilling and training of staff, Isuzu has also embarked on rigorous testing of vehicles to ensure Isuzu's promise of producing durable, reliable and capable vehicles reengineered for African driving conditions. "Our focus remains to ensure the sustainability of Isuzu's operations in South Africa. We are committed to transformation and believe that an inclusive economy is a foundation to economic prosperity for all citizens," he adds. 

In September this year, Isuzu announced it had maintained an automotive industry-leading level one in its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment audit for a second consecutive year. "We ascribe to the 2035 vision of the South Africa Automotive Masterplan to be a globally competitive and transformed industry that actively contributes to the sustainable development of South Africa's productive economy," Tom concluded.

The Isuzu CEO reassured the minister that no jobs were lost at Isuzu Motors South Africa during the pandemic in 2020 due to adjusted shifts, four-day workweeks, and a management salary freeze.

Tom said he is looking forward to pre-Covid economic growth in the country. In 2019, the automotive industry contributed approximately 7% to South Africa's GDP, supporting more than 100 000 jobs. Isuzu grew its market share on the D-MAX bakkie in 2020/2021 and maintained the number one position for market share with its N and F-Series trucks in the South African market. The company expects its new D-Max to propel the brand further up the sales charts to give some of SA's best-selling bakkies a proper challenge once the vehicle launches here in 2022.


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2022 Isuzu mu-X
2022 Isuzu mu-X shares its underpinnings with the new D-MAX
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