Isuzu boosts sales in August as D-Max proves a hit

Isuzu Motors South Africa COO and MD Billy Tom
REVVED UP: Isuzu Motors South Africa COO and MD Billy Tom
Image: SUPPLIED

Isuzu Motors South Africa notched up an increase in vehicle sales in August — despite the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO and MD Billy Tom told an online briefing on Sunday that Isuzu remained a market leader and had registered its highest market share percentage for August in the past 14 years.

“[W]e have a proven track record of resilience, which is enabling us to navigate through the current disruptions in our environment.

“Testament to this is the sales performance which we have delivered over the past few months,” Tom said.

He said sales of the Isuzu D-Max bakkie in SA had resulted in a market share of 17.3%, with the vehicle ranked second-best seller in the country for May, June and August.

“If you speak to many of our customers, they will tell you that we do live up to our tagline of being with you for the long run,” Tom said.

He said Isuzu’s strength in keeping customers on the road was due to expert local engineering capabilities which had developed the D-Max for African and SA conditions.

“[Given] the impact of Covid-19 and the global downturn, this is quite a remarkable achievement,” Tom said.

Isuzu has a network of 108 dealers across Africa.

Voted as the 2020 Zimbabwean Online Car of the Year, the D-Max maintained market leadership in Kenya, where semi-knocked down bakkies were imported from Isuzu’s Struandale manufacturing plant, Tom said.

In 2019, Isuzu Motors Japan announced that it would be investing R1.2bn in the next-generation bakkie programme in SA.

“Project teams from Japan, Thailand and SA are working full steam ahead on this project, with a priority focus on engineering the vehicle to meet the requirements of our customers in the Africa markets and also in terms of increasing localisation opportunities.

“[W]e are in discussions with Isuzu Japan to bring the assembly of the next generation of trucks to SA.

“It is still early days but once the programme details have been confirmed, we will share this with our stakeholders,” Tom said.

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