Isuzu Motors South Africa has confirmed that local production of all-new D-Max will take place at its plant in Port Elizabeth next year.
Part of a R1.2-billion investment into the former General Motors factory with an additional R2.8-billion being included as part of a local content strategy drive through its lifecycle, the venture will result in D-Max production rising to 29 000 units per annum, and lead to not only the creation of some 1 000 direct jobs, but also save a similar number and 4 000 throughout its dealer network.
“Our decision to invest in the production of the next generation bakkie in South Africa demonstrates our commitment to this market. This is further reinforced by the fact that this operation is the bakkie and truck manufacturing and distribution operation which is 100% owned Isuzu operation outside of Japan,” Isuzu Motors South Africa Board Chairman and Senior Executive Officer for Isuzu Motors Limited, Yoichi Masuda, said in a statement.
“We fully support the requirements of the extended Automotive Production and Development Programme and are working on various initiatives to ensure that we contribute to the achievement of the South African Automotive Master Plan aspirational targets over the coming years”.
Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel, has meanwhile welcomed the investment and described it as a sign of “confidence in the South African economy’s growth potential”, while Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and Managing Director, Michael Sacke, confirmed that the D-Max will be engineered to meet South African requirements, as well as those of key export markets in sub-Saharan Africa such as Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Our customers have come to know our vehicles for their reliability, durability and flexibility and it is important that we continue to build on these strengths,” Sacke said.
Unveiled in Thailand last month, the D-Max will more than likely once again be offered in single, Extended and double cab bodystyles with a choice of either rear-or-four-wheel-drive, and powered by the updated 3.0 D-TEQ turbodiesel engine that produces 130kW/450Nm. Exact details will however be made closer to the local launch date.