By Otsile Kadiege
Today Isuzu Motors South Africa announced that a whooping R580 million has been invested to support component localisation. This investment includes provision of the supplier tooling needed to manufacture specific components in preparation for the recently launched all-new 7th generation D-Max bakkie.
Localisation is the process where an increased percentage of the parts and costs of a motor vehicle is either assembled or manufactured in South Africa rather than imported. According to Isuzu Motors SA, this process represents a significant opportunity to transform the automotive sector and usher in the entry of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) participants in its supply chain. Isuzu has maintained an automotive industry-leading B-BBEE Level One for a second consecutive year.
Aligned to the South African Automotive Masterplan’s (SAAM) set target and aspiration of ensuring local value addition of 60% by 2035, ISUZU has driven localisation as a key strategic imperative for the business. Billy Tom, ISUZU Motors South Africa President and CEO says, “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.”
“With the relevant commodities intellectual property rights secured we’ve collaborated with our local supply partners to develop the necessary capabilities to sustainably manufacture those commodities in South Africa,” says Komane Pitso, Isuzu Motors SA Senior Vice President Commercial Operations.
Consequent to the R580m investment, suppliers now have the necessary machinery and equipment required to manufacture the components needed by Isuzu. Through this process Isuzu has had the opportunity to work with 107 local component manufacturers, maintaining a local value add content footprint and creating at least 235 new job opportunities at local component manufacturers.
One such example of the localisation strategy is the partnership between Isuzu Motors SA and 73% black-owned supplier Acoustics, based in Gqeberha. They were awarded with both the sound and carpet assembly contracts specifically for the new D-MAX bakkie. Responsible for the manufacturing of smaller boot liners, Acoustics have assisted ISUZU in achieving an industry first through the installation of local vinyl mats.
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