Isuzu Truck South Africa remains the country’s leading retailer of cab-over, forward-control, medium – and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the past three years, as a result of sturdy improvements to its product range.
According to General Manager Product and Sales, Tiny Daya, the latest improvements applied to Isuzu Trucks’ models will ensure that the brand remains popular amongst all sectors that require trucks as part of its operations.
“Our customers expect Payload Productivity and Superior CPK (cost-per-kilometre). To this end, we’ve engineered our 2016 model year trucks to carry a little more weight than their predecessors, while remaining within the appropriate weight classes (GVM) and without compromising safety,” Daya said.
Daya expounded that the latest FTR850, for example, now offers an increase on GVM from 15 tons GVM to 15,5 tons GVM. Other models, like the FVM, have increased from 22 tons to 24 tons, while the FVZ models are boosted from 24 tons to 25,1 tons. This means improved efficiencies for the transporter when it comes down to carrying capacity – especially on trucks with custom bodies and accessories.
“Every ton counts and we ensure that our customers are getting the best capacities from their trucks regardless of the model they prefer,” he said. Additionally, improvements in carrying capacity across the Isuzu Trucks range haven’t resulted in a compromise in safety either, as Daya explained that all Isuzu Trucks sold in South Africa are fitted with class-leading anti-lock braking systems (ABS) tested to the M3 Standard.
Isuzu trucks are fitted with the best ABS systems available on the market, which have been tested to exceed South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) benchmarks. “Our trucks are so
superior when it comes to braking that they remain tremendously popular as road-legal bus platforms,” Daya added.
From December 1 2016, all new trucks sold in South Africa must be fitted with electronic speed limiters in accordance to the weight class it operates in. This is in line with government regulations as announced by the Department of Transport.
To ensure that customers are adhering to the rules of the road, all trucks will be fitted with electronic speed limiters. These speed limiters are hard-wired into the trucks,. Speed limiters would, arguably, work in favour of transporters, as speed is directly proportional to fuel consumption.
There are many other in-progress improvements Isuzu Trucks is working on to increase customer comfort, reliability and efficiencies, which we will share with the marketplace shortly.
“Let’s not forget that last year we announced that Isuzu Truck South Africa is no longer an OEM, rather an Enterprise, thanks to the acquisition of KANU and ACT. Both companies, as leaders in body and chassis customisation, allow us to offer a completely tailor-made truck for a customer’s precise logistical requirements,” Daya said.
He also said that the addition of value-added products and services like Service Plans, Maintenance Plans, Best-Value Parts, Isuzu Drive Train and further back-office enhancements within the Isuzu Trucks network have improved uptime and productivity for its customers.
Looking to the future
Isuzu Truck South Africa is satisfied that the current range of trucks meets and exceeds customers’ requirements, which has given them the confidence to undertake testing of a new CNG truck as well as a diesel-hybrid electric truck for the South African market to assess the suitability and viability of these products.
Daya explained that Isuzu Trucks’ customers expect quality and reliability. “They also expect a solid return on their investment, which means that the improvements we make are to ensure a reduced CPK and improved lifecycle for the truck. Our technologies, like AMT, and our dedication to customer service are two good examples of how we’ve improved lives for business owners and we are confident our latest range of trucks are solidly built for success,” he concluded.
New C.E.O. Isuzu Truck South Africa
Craig Uren, chief operating officer of Isuzu Truck South Africa, today announced the appointment of Mr. Hiroaki Sugawara as chief executive officer of the South African operations. He is replacing Mr. Hiroshi Nishizaka, who will be relocating to Australia, on a fixed term, after numerous years of dedicated service in South Africa. During his tenure, 4 550 units were sold in 2015 and corresponding 14.9% overall market share ensured that Isuzu Trucks ended as the number one supplier for the third year in a row.
“I am glad to join Isuzu Truck South Africa, and to continue the success path instituted by my predecessor. Beyond its renowned expertise among global customers, Isuzu Trucks has a solid reputation in South Africa, which puts it in a good position to meet its ambitious growth strategy in an ever-challenging economic environment,” underlined Mr. Hiroaki Sugawara.
Mr. Sugawara started his career in the automotive sector in 1980 as an electrical engineer, when he was involved in planning the new automated chassis assembly and the new cab assembly line for the N-series as well as increasing production capacity in Thai and Malaysia markets, to name a few.
From 2002 until 2012, Mr. Hiroaki Sugawara was the general manager and group leader of the Service Marketing Department in Japan. He was responsible for the foundation of “World Service Skill” contest in ISUZU (I-1 GP), starting the “World Service Conference” as well as cross-functional activity of service, establishing new service skill criteria, developing the geographical marketing method and increasing the aftersales business in the domestic market.
He was promoted to general manager of the Parts Planning Department in 2012. During his two-year term he increased the parts fill rate with Kaizen activity, further to this, Kaizen of parts stock rules to reduce the service operation time. He accepted the position of general manager for the sales promotion department in 2014 and in a remarkable time organised the “Economy & Safety Seminar” as well as the “New Products Promotion”. He was also involved in planning the CV sales-expanding project.
In 2014 he furthered his career to general manager for the International Sales Department, where he was in charge of West and South Asia and South Pacific area. He developed a new market in Iran and Uzbekistan as well as improving the business amount.
Hiroaki Sugawara graduated from the Akita Technical College and has been with Isuzu Co. for 35 years.
Craig Uren, COO of Isuzu Truck South Africa, said: “We are pleased to welcome Mr. Hiroaki Sugawara to our team. We predict that he will make a meaningful contribution to Isuzu Truck South Africa by utilising his engineering, marketing and management expertise in the automotive and transport sectors.”