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Isuzu Motors South Africa says it is “engaging” with the brand’s head office in Japan in a bid to secure production of the new-generation D-Max at its Struandale factory in Port Elizabeth.

The new D-Max (once known here in South Africa as the KB) was recently revealed in Thailand, where it will be produced for a number of export markets. However, the outgoing D-Max is currently also built in South Africa. And the local arm of the Japanese firm is keen to switch over to the new model.

“We are currently engaging with Isuzu to build the next generation of bakkies in South Africa and anticipate that we will get the final approvals for this investment later this year [2019],” Isuzu Motors SA told CARmag.co.za.

“Isuzu is committed to this market as demonstrated by its decision to take over the light commercial vehicle operations as well as the balance of shareholding in the trucks business in South Africa, making this its first fully owned manufacturing and distribution subsidiary outside of Japan,” the firm added.

In February 2019, Isuzu Motors SA officially launched its consolidated truck and bakkie manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth after an investment of some R27-million.

In mid-2018, the company hit a 40-year manufacturing milestone in South Africa, with the very first locally built Isuzu-badged bakkie having rolled off the production line back in 1978.

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