Since the inception of Isuzu Truck South Africa in 2006, the Company steered towards a clear objective – to be the Number 1 Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa, an objective that first became a reality in 2013.
2013 was also the first year in the Company’s history that over 4 000 Isuzu trucks had been sold in South Africa – 4 019 units to be precise – which moved the then market leader into second position.
“We remained focused once we achieved the Number 1 position, but we were aware that it was not going to be an easy task staying at the top” says Craig Uren, Isuzu Truck South Africa’s Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Isuzu Trucks had a solid performance at the end of 2014, exceeding the 4 000 units’ sales mark for the second year in a row and remained the leader in the cab-over-chassis and medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment of the industry, with a market share of 12.8% of the total truck market.
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 market (HCV) market. Since the introduction of the FX-Series the range continued to grow.
In 2015 Isuzu Trucks aligned strategies, expanded the business model and coupled with solid sales efforts totalling 4 550 units from across the Dealer Network, hit a new high and increased its market share by 2% to 14.9%. Equally the Company’s share in the MCV market increased to 27% while the share in the HCV market added four percentage points to a total share of 33%.
The acquisition of Port Elizabeth based companies Kanu Commercial Body Construction (Pty) Ltd offers the opportunity to deliver ready-built trucks to Dealers faster, while chassis modifications are done by Automotive Chassis Technologies (ACT) where required. Both Kanu and ACT still service the local market and are not dedicated to Isuzu Trucks in entirety.
Although 2016 was a trying year, despite certain challenges, Isuzu Truck South Africa held onto its Number 1 position for the fourth consecutive year and ended with a 14.6% market share from the total park of 3 952 units.
With 1 971 units sold across the 19 N-Series model derivatives totalling 50% of total ITSA volume for 2016, Isuzu Trucks claimed 23.3% of the total MCV market (8 451 units including AMH). However, in the HCV market of 5 460 units, 28.3% or 1 545 units were Isuzu’s. The EHCV segment take up the bulk of the volume (11 860 out of 27 047 units) and in this segment ITSA achieved a 3.5% share. ITSA’s share in the Bus segment was 1.8%.
When comparing the market excluding Van and Bus – the segments that Isuzu Trucks don’t actively compete in – the Company’s share is 16.7%.
“We wish to thank our Dealers and Isuzu Trucks’ Partners for their contribution to our continued success” says Hiroaki Sugawara, CEO and Managing Director of Isuzu Truck South Africa. “Achieving the Number 1 position is no mean feat and to do so for four consecutive years is commendable”.
What is in stall for 2017?
Isuzu Trucks will continue to expand its business into Africa and investment in the local Dealer Network as it aligns long-term strategies while offering Customers and Fleets the best suited truck and aftersales service for their requirements.
“Will Isuzu Truck South Africa 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 aftersales service back-up, there shouldn’t be a reason why not. But time will tell”, concludes Uren.