General Motors (GM) has gone from the South African automotive landscape, but many of the people and facilities have lived to fight another day thanks to the investment by Isuzu Motors. The Japanese company bought the production facilities of GMSA and recently launched the new South African operation. In spite of leadership changes in national government, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies found the time to attend the opening of the plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth. He was not the only dignitary in attendance either — with former minister Alec Erwin present and deputy director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry Garth Strachan, as well as a number of visiting Japanese dignitaries and company representatives. It showed the importance of the investment by Isuzu and the 7.4% contribution of the automotive industry to GDP. GM’s withdrawal happened when "we were going through some difficult times, when investor sentiment was very low", says Davies. The decision by Isuz...

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