Staff Reporter Not to be left behind by its nearest competitors, Isuzu Motors South Africa has just announce that it too would enter the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment with the introduction of the Isuzu mu-X into the South African and Sub-Saharan Africa market in the second half of the year. For the uninitiated Isuzu has always had an SUV, the Frontier, it is just that the model was perhaps not as popular as the Isuzu KB Bakkie. But the Frontier was a car to look at. The reason the Frontier left the southern African market was simple – Isuzu partnered with Chevrolet. As a result that arrangement meant that customers who want a Frontier must rather buy the American Chevrolet Trailblazer, which was tweaked to appease the local market but which not many people liked very much. It so happened that in May 2017 General Motors decided enough is enough, packed up its operational bags and exited the Southern African market. Isuzu was left devastated. But in the separation agreement Isuzu Motors got to purchase GM’s assembly plant where in South Africa, and acquired GM’s 30% shareholding in Isuzu Trucks South Africa. As reported earlier by Leisure Magazine, “a divorce can be a pretty nasty business. But sometimes it can also be a blessing in disguise.” For Isuzu the separation also brought some good news. Finally Isuzu can be able to bring back the Frontier model, which is based on the KB platform. And no more Isuzu sales people crying over the unfulfilled quotas for the Chevrolet Trailblazer which no one really want to buy. By now though the Isuzu Frontier is sold in overseas markets such as New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines as the Isuzu MU-X. It is that car that Isuzu enthusiasts in Namibia and South Africa are set to enjoy in the coming months. The mu-X will be a new entry in the SUV segment for Isuzu, since the introduction of the Trooper and Frontier in 1992 and 1998, says Dominic Rimmer, Executive Technical Services. “This great product, which has been favourable with customers around the world, will extend the Isuzu product range offering customers an option to choose between the rugged and capable Isuzu pick-up and a sophisticated Isuzu SUV for both work and leisure, ensuring they are catered for in the Isuzu family.” The Isuzu mu-X, Isuzu’s refined yet robust SUV, has a long proud history of performance behind it with its first introduction to market in Thailand in 2013. The mu-X is currently sold in several countries which include Thailand, Australia and Philippines where it holds the market leader share. “We are excited about the addition of the mu-X into the Isuzu portfolio, offering customers a SUV originating from a strong brand that is trusted and known for reliability by South Africans.” This superior SUV will assume Isuzu’s rich DNA backed by decades of experience in diesel engine technology. The mu-X is powered by Isuzu’s proven 3-litre engine packed with active safety features. The car-like handling with exceptional ride comfort is supported by a 5-link rear suspension. In addition, the seven seat configurations with ample passenger legroom promise a comfortable ride for the family whether on road or off the beaten track. Rimmer said the Isuzu mu-X model line-up, specification and pricing will be announced closer to the time of launch.
2018-02-22 09:54:32 7 months ago