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FROM LEFT - Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa and Billy Tom President and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa

Isuzu updates Minister Ebrahim Patel on its R1.2-billion Gqeberha plant investment

Press Release: Isuzu Motors South Africa

Isuzu Motors South Africa welcomed a high-ranking government delegation in October 2021, led by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel.

During the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Eastern Cape vehicle manufacturer’s production facilities in Struandale, Gqeberha, the Minister met with President and CEO, Billy Tom and Isuzu senior leadership to discuss key priorities relating to the business.

Patel previously visited Isuzu in 2019, shortly before an announcement that Isuzu would be investing R1.2-billion into its next generation bakkie programme in South Africa for the South African and Sub-Saharan Africa markets. The decision resulted in the security of 1,000 jobs directly at Isuzu’s operations in Gqeberha and across its national and international dealer network, as well as around 25,000 jobs at hundreds of suppliers across the country.

Tom also updated the ministerial delegation on the progress made on the investment, including manufacturing plant upgrades to meet the new vehicle requirements and the state of readiness to launch exciting new Isuzu products into the market. The new Isuzu D-MAX bakkie, which will be launched early in 2022 will include the launch of Isuzu’s next generation trucks – all locally manufactured in Gqeberha.

In addition to the upskilling and training of staff, Isuzu has also embarked on rigorous testing of vehicles to ensure Isuzu’s promise of producing durable, reliable and capable vehicles reengineered for African driving conditions.

“Our focus remains on being able to ensure the sustainability of Isuzu’s operations in South Africa. We are committed to transformation and believe that an inclusive economy is the foundation to economic prosperity for all citizens,” said Tom. 

While no jobs at Isuzu Motors South Africa were lost during the pandemic in 2020 as a result of adjusted shifts, four-day work weeks and a salary freeze for management, Tom said he was looking forward to pre-COVID economic growth in the country. 

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