A complete package

A complete package

Isuzu Trucks reflects on a successful 2015 and looks at what’s in store for its operations in sub-Saharan Africa during 2016.

In a revolutionary change of strategy, Isuzu Truck South Africa has moved away from the traditional role of dedicated truck original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to that of an “enterprise” with an African geographic footprint.

Operating out of Johannesburg, a new venture has been established – Isuzu Motors Sub-Saharan Africa (IMSSA) – in support of Isuzu’s objective of being the number one brand in Africa. During 2013 and 2014, Isuzu Motors Ltd of Japan supplied over 25 000 new Isuzu trucks into Africa.

Isuzu Truck South Africa’s director and chief operating officer, Craig Uren, states: “As an enterprise, we are now involved in the delivery of a complete truck product solution that ensures quality and design suitable for African market conditions, where we serve nine countries.”

Isuzu is South Africa’s top-selling chassis-cab, forward-control configuration truck. By June 2015, nearly one in three medium trucks sold in South Africa was an Isuzu N-Series, and 70 percent of these were equipped with Isuzu Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) transmissions.

Isuzu AMT was launched in the medium-range N-Series during 2008 and in the heavy F-Series in 2011. Isuzu AMT models held 51,7 percent of Isuzu Truck South Africa’s total volume sales in 2014.

During 2015, Isuzu Truck South Africa became the first truck manufacturer in South Africa to improve the logistical process for complete trucks with cargo bodies.

Says Uren: “We have now invested in a wholly owned truck bodybuilding subsidiary, KANU Commercial Body Construction. In addition, we have acquired Automotive Chassis Technologies (ACT), a company that conducts off-line customising and chassis modifications as an extension to the Isuzu truck production line.

“Both KANU and ACT are based in Port Elizabeth; providing centralised control over design, quality and warranty, plus the ability to schedule the supply chain into our dealers without overstocking their facilities. It requires an ‘enterprise’ approach,” he continues.

Isuzu Truck South Africa has launched a unique, unilateral programme to improve the engineering quality, durability and on-road safety of cargo bodies and all equipment fitted to Isuzu trucks in Africa.

This initiative includes training, self-auditing, and configuration management guidelines for truck bodybuilders in Africa. This service is free, excluding the cost of an initial audit, and will benefit the entire road transport industry.

All new trucks, regardless of make, will benefit from Isuzu Truck South Africa taking the lead on this ambitious project, which will improve the total cost of ownership of trucks as well as the value of used trucks on the market.

An aggressive campaign to align aftermarket parts prices that reflect real value coupled to quality standards was also launched – ensuring replacement parts deliver full service life for lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).

“It’s not just about price,” says Wayne Morgan, Isuzu Truck general manager: aftersales and parts. “We have examined technical competitiveness of ‘cheaper’ parts on the market and find disturbing differences.”

Service, too, is an aftermarket “enterprise” activity – it’s all about how customers use a truck and achieve lowest TCO. Service is about monitoring truck applications from cradle to grave and the variable warranties that Isuzu Truck South Africa is now introducing as an innovative, value-added offering to operating an Isuzu truck.

Uren offers a final and powerful vision of where this new concept of ‘enterprise’ is heading: “The Isuzu Trucks franchise culture is to offer customers the best ‘aftersales’ experiences. In doing so, we sell
trucks.”

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