By Staff Reporter
Isuzu SA has announced that it has started supplying knocked down (KD) Isuzu D-MAX pick-up kits for assembly purposes to its Isuzu manufacturing facility in Kenya. Isuzu says, “this represents the first intra-continental regional trade exchange of its kind for Isuzu on the continent and is aligned to its strategy for its South African vehicle assembly plant to serve as a hub for growing its overall volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa.”9
A growing regional brand
Isuzu is a leading brand in the East African markets, with a commanding 44.5% share of the Kenyan new vehicle market in 2019. The East African operation previously focused only on truck and bus assembly operations while fully importing light commercial vehicles from South Africa. Isuzu expects capacity to grow with volumes projected at 1,300 vehicles per year to Kenya through this KD programme. This is expected to further increase in the medium- to long-term.
Win-win for Kenya and South Africa
The vehicle kits which are exported from the Port of Ngqura provides additional volume at the port while ensuring job retention at the South African plant. “We have put this project together in record time and anticipate that it will result in a win-win for both South Africa and Kenya. Some of the vehicle kits have already arrived in Kenya and the Kenyan team received comprehensive training in Port Elizabeth late last year in preparation for actual operations,” said Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and Managing Director, Michael Sacke.
Rita Kavashe, Managing Director of Isuzu East Africa, welcomed the decision to import KD kits. She said the KD programme gives the Kenyan operation more flexibility and an opportunity to remain competitive. “Our import tariffs are lower on the KD kits, we create employment and we positively influence employee and customer morale by assembling the Isuzu D-MAX locally.”
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