ISUZU Trucks South Africa (ITSA) is now majority owned by Isuzu Motors Limited Japan.
This announcement was made at the Johannesburg Truck & Bus Show, co-sponsored by the Johannesburg International Motor Show at Nasrec.
Isuzu Motors Limited Japan will be taking a 70% stake, with General Motors SA (GMSA) remaining as a 30% shareholder.
Isuzu Trucks SA, whose manufacturing plant is based at Kempston Road in Port Elizabeth, is responsible for the distribution of Isuzu medium and heavy duty trucks in South Africa.
GMSA in turn is responsible for the assembly of these trucks on behalf of the joint venture. ITSA was a 50/50 joint venture between Isuzu Motors Limited Japan and GMSA.
GM Africa communications manager Denise van Huyssteen said the increase in the percentage ownership by Isuzu Motors Limited only related to the joint venture for the medium and heavy truck vehicle business in South Africa.
"It has no bearing on our light commercial vehicle business which continues as is," Van Huyssteen said. This move in the local truck industry is described by Isuzu Truck South Africa's chief operating officer Craig Uren as "the next logical step for the brand as it increasingly plays a leading role in the South African truck market".
"With this local shareholding change comes the requirement from Isuzu for Isuzu Truck South Africa to take more responsibility for the sub-Saharan Africa territory, and we've got some specific objectives to achieve.
"We're going to aim to enhance the Isuzu sales volume, provide better customer satisfaction, enhance lifecycle business and solidify our business by strengthening the connection between Japan and South Africa," Uren said.
Isuzu Trucks also announced upgrades to their trucks in the medium commercial vehicle segment.
"Isuzu has enjoyed good market share in this segment, especially with urban delivery applications.
"To ease the stress on these operators the Isuzu N-Series [NMR 250] will be fitted with automatic manual transmission (AMT) in both its freighter and crew cab derivatives," said Isuzu Truck South Africa's national sales manager Anton du Plessis.
"Because we're bringing AMT down into the 2,5 ton segment, we can now offer smaller operators – who have traditionally been buying bakkies or light commercial vehicles that load just over 1,5 tons – a 2,5 tonner that drives effortlessly with AMT," he said. – Additional reporting by Cindy Preller