Craig Uren.   Picture: ISUZU TRUCKS SOUTHERN AFRICA
Craig Uren. Picture: ISUZU TRUCKS SOUTHERN AFRICA

Since its inception in 2006, Isuzu Trucks SA has steered towards a clear objective: to be the leading Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the country, an objective that became a reality in 2013.

It was also the first year in the company’s history that more than 4,000 units of its trucks were sold in SA — 4,019 units to be precise, which saw the company depose the market leader at the time.

Focused

"We remained focused once we achieved the number one position, but we were aware that it was not going to be an easy task staying at the top," says Craig Uren, Isuzu Truck SA’s chief operating officer.

The company also had a solid performance at the end of 2014, again exceeding the 4,000-unit sales mark.

It remained the leader in the cab-over-chassis and medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segments of the industry, securing a 12.8% share of the total truck market.

The 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 vehicle (HCV) market. Since the introduction of the FX-Series the range has continued to grow.

The N-Series dominated the medium commercial vehicle segment again.
The N-Series dominated the medium commercial vehicle segment again.

In 2015 the company aligned strategies and expanded the business model. Coupled with solid sales efforts totalling 4,550 units from across the dealer network, it hit a new high and increased its market share by two percentage points to 14.9%. The company’s share of the MCV market increased to 27%, while its share of the HCV market added four percentage points to a total of 33%.

Although 2016 was a trying year, the company held on to its leading position for the fourth consecutive year and ended with a 14.6% market share.

With 1,971 units sold across the 19 N-Series model derivatives in 2016, the company claimed 23.3% of the total MCV market. In the HCV market of 5,460 units, 28.3% (or 1,545 units) were Isuzus. The extra heavy commercial vehicle segment took up the bulk of the volume (11,860 out of 27,047 units) and the company achieved a 3.5% share. Its share of the bus segment was 1.8%.

No mean feat

"Achieving the number one position is no mean feat and to do so for four consecutive years is commendable," says Hiroaki Sugawara, CEO and MD of Isuzu Truck SA.

In 2017, the company says it will continue to expand its business into Africa and investment in the local dealer network as it aligns long-term strategies.

"Will Isuzu Truck SA be the top Japanese OEM for a fifth year in a row? 2017 is not going to be an easy-going year, but with product, parts and after-sales service back-up, there shouldn’t be a reason why not. But time will tell," says Uren.

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