Since inception of Isuzu Truck South Africa (ITSA) in 2006, the company steered towards a clear objective – to be the Number 1 Japanese OEM in South Africa and it first became a reality in 2013.
It was also the first year in the company’s history that over 4 000 Isuzu trucks have been sold in South Africa – 4 019 units to be precise.
“We remained focused once we achieved the Number 1 position, but we were aware that it was not going to be an easy task staying at the top,” says Craig Uren, Isuzu Truck South Africa’s Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Isuzu Trucks had a solid performance at the end of 2014, exceeding the 4 000 units sales mark for the second year in a row and remained the leader in the cab-over-chassis and medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment of the industry, 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.
In 2015 Isuzu Trucks sold 4 550 units to hit a new high and increased its market share 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 Port Elizabeth based companies 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. Both Kanu and ACT still service the local market and are not dedicated to Isuzu Trucks in entirety.
2016 was a trying year but despite certain challenges, Isuzu Truck South Africa held onto its Number 1 position for a fourth consecutive year and ended with a 14.6% market share from the total park of 3 952 units.
With 1 971 units sold across the 19 N-Series model derivatives totalling 50% of total ITSA volume for 2016, Isuzu Trucks claimed 23.3% of the total MCV market (8 451 units). In the HCV market of 5 460 units, 28.3% or 1 545 units were Isuzus.
“We wish to thank our dealers and Isuzu Trucks’ Partners for their contribution to our continued success” says Hiroaki Sugawara, CEO and Managing Director of Isuzu Truck South Africa. “Achieving the Number 1 position is no mean feat and to do so for four consecutive years is commendable”.
What is in store for 2017?
Isuzu Trucks will continue to expand its business into Africa and invest in the local dealer network as it seeks to be the top Japanese OEM for a fifth year in a row.
After declining for two years in a row, sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles and buses are likely to show a modest improvement in 2017, according to Uren. He predicted that the total commercial vehicle market (excluding LCVs) would total 27 500 units in 2017, up 1.8 percent from last year’s 27 041 units.