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Isuzu Trucks in for long haul

Port Elizabeth-based Isuzu Trucks South Africa has emerged as a consistent driving force behind the country’s commercial vehicle offerings. It has started the year by dominating both the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments, giving it a commanding share of the overall commercial vehicle market.

Reflecting on its relatively short history as a Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa and its prospects going forward, the former General Motors South Africa-linked manufacturer said since the inception of the company in 2006 it had steered towards claiming the number-one position for Japanese OEMs in the country, which it had achieved in 2013.

“2013 was also the first year in the company’s history that over 4 000 Isuzu trucks had been sold in South Africa – 4 019 units to be precise – which moved the then market leader into second position,” Isuzu Trucks South Africa’s director and chief operating officer, Craig Uren, said.

“We remained focused once we achieved the number-one position, but we were aware that it was not going to be an easy task staying at the top.”

Uren said Isuzu Trucks fielded a solid performance at the end of 2014, exceeding the 4 000-unit sales mark for the second year in a row and remained the leader in the cab-over-chassis and medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment with a market share of 12.8% of the total truck market.

“N-Series products accounted for 21% of the MCV market, giving Isuzu Trucks market leadership of the segment, while the F-Series range of trucks achieved 23.4% of the heavy commercial market (HCV) market. Since the introduction of the FX-Series the range continued to grow,” he said.

In 2015, Isuzu Trucks aligned its strategies, expanded its business model and, coupled with solid sales efforts, totalled 4 550 units from across its dealer network, increasing its market share by 2% to 14.9%.

Equally, the company’s share in the MCV market increased to 27%, while the share in the HCV market added four percentage points to a total share of 33%.

“The acquisition of … Kanu Commercial Body Construction offers the opportunity to deliver ready-built trucks to dealers faster, while chassis modifications are done by Automotive Chassis Technologies (ACT) where required,” Uren said.

“Both Kanu and ACT still service the local market and are not dedicated to Isuzu Trucks in entirety.”

Uren said while last year had been a difficult year, the company had held onto its leading position for a fourth consecutive year and ended with a 14.6% market share from the total park of 3 952 units.

Looking forward, Uren said Isuzu Trucks would continue to expand both its business into Africa and its investment in the domestic dealer network.

“Will Isuzu Truck South Africa be the top Japanese OEM for a fifth year in a row? 2017 is not going to be an easy year, but with product, parts and after sales service back-up, there shouldn’t be a reason why not. But time will tell,” Uren said.

-heraldlive

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