President Cyril Ramaphosa Makes Surprise Visit to New Proudly SA Built Isuzu D Max Bakkie Launch in Gqeberha

President Cyril Ramaphosa Makes Surprise Visit to New Proudly SA Built Isuzu D Max Bakkie Launch in Gqeberha

  • Isuzu's new D-Max bakkie has been launched in South Africa with President Cyril Ramaphosa in attendance at the event that took place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Eastern Cape
  • It's the seventh-generation D-Max and this model has a particularly strong heritage to Mzansi as it was engineered specifically for local conditions
  • Over R1,2 billion has been invested in the production of the D-Max at its Struandale Plant in the Eastern Cape

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Isuzu Motors South Africa launched its all-new seventh-generation Isuzu D-Max bakkie with a special visit from President Cyril Ramaphosa at the event in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The brand has enjoyed a rich heritage and reputation for making vehicles that are durable, reliable, and capable.

The all-new D-Max bakkie is no exception and is the seventh generation light commercial vehicle to be produced in Gqeberha, over the past 44 years.

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Cyril Ramaphosa makes surprise visit to new proudly SA built Isuzu D Max bakkie launch in Gqeberha
Billy Tom, Isuzu SA CEO and President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the new D-Max in the Eastern Cape. Image: Quickpic
Source: UGC

The launch event, which fittingly took place at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Eastern Cape, was officially opened by Premier Oscar Mabuyane, Quickpic reports.

In an address by Mr Billy Tom, President and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa, he highlighted milestones of the company’s bold journey to where they are now and shared the company’s growth plans to expand its footprint into the rest of Africa, IOL reports. This was followed by a few words from Mr Masanori Katayama, President of Isuzu Limited, Japan, who, back in 2019 announced an R1.2-billion investment in Isuzu Motors South Africa.

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Around 1 000 direct jobs at the brand's operations in Gqeberha were secured as a result of this instrumental investment. Furthermore, over ten times of indirect jobs were secured across the value chain, particularly in the national and international dealer network, and amongst the local suppliers across the country which is a directive of the South African Automotive Master Plan (SAAM). It also resulted in the strategic improvements and upgrades of the manufacturing plant in Struandale, together with the technology and skills development required to produce the seventh generation Isuzu D-Max bakkie.

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SAAM initiated policy certainty in the Automotive sector, positioning OEMs nationally for improved business opportunities. The enhancement of government incentives for locally assembled vehicles through the Automotive Production & Development Plan 2, has also mapped the way for increased local content targets and transformation.

Billy Tom says:

“Our sourcing strategy has enabled us to acquire plans and procure local manufacturers to design components needed for the manufacture of the next-generation D-Max. Through this process, we have created at least 235 new job opportunities at local component manufacturers."

The launch event boosted the local economy through the procurement of various local suppliers as part of the ongoing initiatives by Isuzu Motors South Africa to support the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Those in attendance included President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, Premier of the Eastern Cape, Mr Oscar Mabuyane and Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Eugene Johnson.

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In a spectacular drive display that featured a daring mountain climb, guests were able to experience the next-generation D-Max, together with various experiential lounges. The event was concluded with a Japanese Daruma Doll ceremony. In Japanese culture, the Daruma doll symbolises perseverance, good fortune, and good luck.

Isuzu Motors South Africa assembles bakkies and medium, heavy, and extra-heavy commercial vehicles at its Struandale plant in Gqeberha. The Japanese brand distributes these vehicles in South Africa and to the rest of sub-Sahara African markets while exporting semi-knocked downlight commercial vehicle kits to Kenya.

All systems go as first D-Max rolls off Isuzu SA’s production line in Gqeberha after a R1,2 Billion investment

A momentous occasion is on the horizon in the local motor industry as the launch of the locally-built Isuzu D-Max bakkie is imminent, Briefly News reports. In 2019, Isuzu announced an R1,2 billion investment to build the seventh-generation D-Max at its Struandale Plant in Gqeberha and earlier in March the first example rolled off the production line.

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The company's manufacturing plant in Struandale now boasts a new body shop at the Struandale Manufacturing Plant, a new chassis assembly line at Isuzu’s Kempston Road facility, and significant modifications to the paint shop and general assembly areas.

In addition to preparing new facilities for the assembly of the new Isuzu D-Max, Isuzu engineers have been hard at work doing validation, homologation, and durability testing in preparation for the new bakkie’s introduction to the South African and Rest of Africa (ROFA) markets.

Source: Briefly News

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