What do former Springbok rugby captain John Smit, the first test tube baby, the Walkman and the movie Grease have in common? They were all introduced to the world in the same year that the first Isuzu bakkie went into local production in SA. The year 1978 was significant for the brand on SA’s roads. Whether it’s hauling sheep in the Karoo or zipping between the Gauteng office towers, the Isuzu bakkie has been synonymous with the South African way of life for four decades. The first Isuzu bakkie carrying the Isuzu badge was built at the Kempston Road plant in Port Elizabeth 40 years ago. Today, with three body styles, the bakkies continue to be contenders in the market, appropriately using the company tag line "With you, for the long run". The first bakkie was launched at an original selling price of R3,485 for a 1.6l petrol engine version and R4,295 for a 2.0l diesel engine derivative. Johan Vermeulen, Isuzu Motors SA executive for manufacturing and supply chain, says the bakkie has...

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