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Isuzu announces major investment boost for its PE operations

Isuzu Motors of Japan confirmed on Monday that it will be investing R1.2 billion into the next generation bakkie programme in South Africa.

An additional total local content value of R2.8 billion will be generated through the life cycle of the programme.

This development follows Isuzu's take over last year of the company's light commercial vehicle operations at its facility in Nelson Mandela Bay as well as the balance of shareholding in the trucks business.

Current plans are to grow the company's annual bakkie production to 29 000 units per annum, said Yoichi Masuda, Senior Executive Officer for Isuzu Motors Limited and Chairman of the Isuzu Motors South Africa Board.  "Our decision to invest in the production of the next generation bakkie in South Africa demonstrates our commitment to this market."

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel welcomed the announcement saying it will contribute immensely towards President Cyril Ramaphosa's investment drive. "This investment shows confidence in the South African economy's growth potential and will help to secure more than 1000 direct jobs at the PE plant."

Norio Maruyama, Japan's Ambassador to South Africa, hailed Isuzu's investment decision as a concrete follow up action to the South Africa Investment Conference which was held in Sandton last week.

Previously, a R27-million project of relocating the Isuzu truck production facilities from Kempston Road in Port Elizabeth to Isuzu Motors South Africa's headquarters in Struandale, PE, ensured that all bakkie and truck manufacturing now takes place under one roof.

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