The Communications Manager, GM Sub-Saharan Africa, Denise van Huyssteen, is so passionate about the Nigerian market.  And she could not hide her feelings and excitement about the huge potential in the Nigerian automobile market.

At the launch of the sixth generation Isuzu Pick-Up at the Thornybush Games Park in Hoesdpruit, South Africa, last week, van Huyssteen disclosed that for the past eight months, GM Africa has been working behind the scene with local dealerships in Nigeria on the planned introduction of the Isuzu Pick-up into the Nigerian market later in the year.

”We are working to get the best customer-experience. We are working to establish Isuzu as a brand in Nigeria. We are excited about the launch of this great new product to the Nigerian market later this year,” she confirmed.

Communications Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa Export Markets, GM Sub Sahara Africa,  Ruth Mugugu, also corroborated her boss’s assertion, disclosing that plans are on to storm the Nigerian market with Isuzu Pick-Up and Chevrolet Trailblazer from September. 
Newly-appointed President of GM Africa, Mario Spangenberg, is also excited at the launch of the sixth generation Isuzu Pick-Up. He said the latest Isuzu pick-up represents the last phase of a R1 Billion investment at its South African manufacturing operations in three new vehicle assembly programmes which started with the Chevrolet Utility and the Chevrolet Spark.

“Isuzu represents our biggest, most important launch in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is no doubt that the growth in Africa’s workforce and increased urbanisation rates will spur on additional infrastructural investment and will result in increased consumer spending and transportation of people and goods.

“ According to the African Development Bank (ADB), only 60 percent of Africa’s population has access to safe water, 40 percent to safe sanitation, 30 percent to electricity and 30percent  of the rural population to good roads. As governments move to address these needs through infrastructural investment projects, this will in particular stimulate demand for light commercial vehicles,” Spangenberg said.

“Transport has accounted for the largest portion – almost 46 percent – of infrastructural investment (into roads, ports etc.) on the continent. General Motors is positioning itself to meet the transportation needs in these markets with unique product offerings from Chevrolet and Isuzu.

“We have recently consolidated our operations in Africa placing us in a strong position to expand on a continent which has tremendous long-term potential for vehicle sales growth. During the past three to four years, we have been developing plans to get the right distribution network in place, to correctly align our product portfolio and to establish a strong service and support infrastructure for our customers. Equally important, we have done a lot of work with Isuzu to lay the foundation for the successful expansion and growth of the next generation pick-up into the region.”

According to the company, the launch of the sixth generation Isuzu pick-up will be a major milestone for General Motors in Sub-Saharan Africa. “For the first time in the company’s history, its manufacturing operations in Port Elizabeth will build the pick-up in both left and right hand drive derivatives, opening up opportunities for export into various markets within the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

“The new pick-up, built accordingly to local market specification requirements, will be launched in both left and right hand drive markets across Sub-Saharan Africa during the course of 2013. The initial roll-out will commence in South Africa followed by the South East Africa markets of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Seychelles and Mauritius. Markets in East Africa and in the high potential left-hand drive markets of countries such as Angola and Nigeria will follow later in the year.

“A range of 16 different models will be launched into various markets (outside of South Africa), covering 13 diesel and three petrol models. Specific model line-up and pricing details will be made available at time of launch in the relevant markets,” a statement signed by Mugugu said.

“GM does business in more than 50 markets in Africa, and has manufacturing operations in South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. In 2012, the company sold over 180, 000 vehicles in Africa, an increase of 17.5 percent from the previous year. Just over 100, 000 vehicles were sold in North Africa and the balance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt is GM Africa’s highest volume market in North Africa with other key markets including Algeria, Morocco and Libya. South Africa is the biggest market in Sub-Saharan Africa and high potential markets include Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“In East Africa, where the Isuzu brand is strong,  the company’s market share grew from 25 percent in 2011 to 26 percent last year, ensuring our number one position in this market.”

Bigger and bolder with a new stylish presence, the new sixth generation Isuzu KB comes in three variants, the LX Single, Extended, and Double Cab models.  With contemporary styling and sleek aerodynamic body design, the all new sixth Generation Isuzu KB has a bigger bolder look, with smooth and well-proportioned styling. The vehicle’s wedge shaped profile imparts a muscular and sporty expression while at the same time providing a distinct aerodynamic advantage.

The all-new Isuzu KB Extended Cab models offer the functionality of increased interior load carrying ability – important when higher value but smaller loads need to be conveyed securely. Excellent access to the extended cab area behind the seats is by way of rearward opening Flex Doors that can be opened from either inside or outside the vehicle. The Flex doors are fitted with an interlock that prevents them from being opened unless the front door is opened first – an important security feature.

The new Isuzu KB is 260mm, more than five percent, longer than the previous model. It’s also 60mm wider (up three percent) and 60mm taller (up 3,5 percent). This translates into an increase in interior space and load box size.

Author: nmmin

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