The seventh generation Isuzu D-Max, locally engineered and produced, signifies a new chapter for Isuzu, as it is the culmination of a R1.2bn investment the business announced in 2019.
“Isuzu’s Struandale plant and the new generation Isuzu D-Max programme is crucial to the communities in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and the livelihoods of thousands in South Africa and Africa,” said Billy Tom, president and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa. “We are delighted to see our significant investment in the motor industry come to fruition, and to secure the jobs of so many citizens while simultaneously bringing a vehicle re-engineered for African conditions to market.”
“The new vehicle programme is dependent on more sophisticated tooling, technologies and increased automation, in line with technological advancements and improved efficiencies,” said Dominic Rimmer, IMSAf senior vice president of technical operations.
“We have had to make significant changes to our facilities to accommodate new manufacturing techniques, where we have invested in complete new machinery and equipment in both our body shop and chassis assembly line.”
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 markets.
The D-Max was launched on April 7 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha.