Bay’s Isuzu SA plant ships bakkie kits to Kenya
In the first intra-continental regional trade of its kind for Isuzu Motors SA, the Port Elizabeth-based vehicle manufacturer has started supplying knocked down (KD) Isuzu D-MAX bakkie kits to Kenya.
The kits are for assembly purposes at Isuzu’s manufacturing facility in Kenya.
The vehicle kits, which are exported from the Port of Ngqura, provide additional volume at the port while keeping jobs safe at the South African plant.
Isuzu Motors SA CEO and MD Michael Sacke said Isuzu’s market strength in East Africa could be attributed to the vehicles’ overall performance, reliability and customer satisfaction.
“We have put this project together in record time and anticipate that it will result in a win-win for both SA and Kenya.
"Some of the vehicle kits have already arrived in Kenya and the Kenyan team received comprehensive training in Port Elizabeth late last year in preparation for actual operations,” Sacke said.
Isuzu East Africa MD, Rita Kavashe, welcomed the decision to import the kits.
She said the programme gave the Kenyan operation more flexibility and an opportunity to remain competitive.
“Our import tariffs are lower on the KD kits, we create employment and we positively influence employee and customer morale by assembling the Isuzu D-MAX locally,” Kavashe said.
Isuzu commanded a 44.5% share of the Kenyan new vehicle market in 2019.
While volumes have been projected at 1,300 vehicles per year to Kenya through this programme, it is expected that this will further increase.
“The Kenya KD project is an important step in achieving our growth strategy which is geared at strengthening our presence in key sub-Saharan Africa markets through a combination of tactical SKD initiatives as well as various initiatives to strengthen our dealer distribution network,” Sacke said.
Isuzu Motors SA has a network of 79 dealers in SA and 33 in sub-Saharan Africa.