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Isuzu spends big on SA sourcing of components

Isuzu has ramped up component localisation with the introduction of the seventh generation Isuzu D-Max
MADE IN BAY: Isuzu has ramped up component localisation with the introduction of the  seventh generation Isuzu D-Max
Image: Supplied

Isuzu Motors SA has invested more than half-a-billion rand to support component localisation.

The R580m investment includes provision of the supplier tooling needed to manufacture specific components in preparation for the recently launched seventh-generation Isuzu D-Max bakkie.

The Struandale-based company embarked on a new sourcing strategy at the beginning of 2018 including classifying local suppliers that had the technical capability to manufacture a list of components required for the new bakkie.

Isuzu Motors SA president and chief executive Billy Tom said this process represented a significant opportunity to transform the automotive sector and usher in the entry of broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) participants in its supply chain.

He said this was aligned to the South African Automotive Masterplan’s (SAAM) set target and aspiration of ensuring local value addition of 60% by 2035.

“Localisation is essential in transforming the automotive sector.

“SAAM 2035 could see the automotive industry growing from 600,000 to 1.4-million vehicles a year in production.

“This presents a huge opportunity for us to support black-owned automotive suppliers in building their businesses in the industry.

“It will help drive transformation and create jobs,” Tom said.

As a result of the investment, suppliers now have the necessary machinery and equipment required to manufacture the components needed by Isuzu.

It saw the company work with 107 local component manufacturers and create at least 235 new job opportunities.

Isuzu Motors SA senior vice-president of commercial operations, Komane Pitso, said one such example was 73% black-owned supplier Acoustics, based in Gqeberha.

The company was awarded with both the sound and carpet assembly contracts for the new D-Max bakkie. and is responsible for the manufacturing of smaller boot liners.

Pitso said Acoustics had assisted them in achieving an industry first through the installation of local vinyl mats.

“We have to do things differently if we are to draw on local content, and Acoustics is an example of drawing on local content and capabilities.

“Over the last few decades, design capability has transitioned to being more multinational, so we have to get involved locally,” Pitso said.

“Great strides have been made in the alliance between the automotive industry and the government, and the progressive automotive policies in the country are testament to the strength of the pro-government/industry collaboration.

“But this isn’t enough, the automotive industry still faces tough challenges in accelerating localisation and developing a future-proof supply chain, and without localisation the automotive industry will struggle to remain competitive.”

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