Isuzu is step­ping up to fill the SUV gap left by Chev with the pop­u­lar and proven mu-X.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - — WR.

PORT EL­IZ­A­BETH — Isuzu Mo­tors South Africa (IMSA) this week an­nounced it will fi­nally re­turn to the Sports Util­ity Ve­hi­cle (SUV) seg­ment with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Isuzu mu-X to sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa af­ter July.

Isuzu’s Fron­tier can lay claim to have set the bar for the SUV mar­ket in South Africa, while the orig­i­nal MU from the 1980s is still made in China, such is the time­less­ness of the shape.

Do­minic Rim­mer, ex­ec­u­tive of tech­ni­cal ser­vices at Isuzu SA, said the 2018 mu-X will be a new en­try in the lo­cal SUV seg­ment for Isuzu, since the in­tro­duc­tion of the Trooper and Fron­tier in 1992 and 1998.

“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 mu-X is cur­rently sold in sev­eral coun­tries that 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 an 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.

The an­nounce­ment of the mu-X un­der­lines Isuzu’s com­mit­ment to the South African mar­ket since it took over the Gen­eral Mo­tors light com­mer­cial fac­tory in Port El­iz­a­beth, as well as the bal­ance of share­hold­ing in its Isuzu Trucks South Africa op­er­a­tions.

Pres­i­dent and rep­re­sen­ta­tive di­rec­tor of Isuzu Mo­tors of Ja­pan Masanori Katayama said that Isuzu was com­mit­ted to grow­ing its busi­ness in South Africa.

Isuzu Mo­tors South Africa CEO and MD Michael Sacke said that the com­pany’s will launch more ve­hi­cle in the medium term fu­ture af­ter an ini­tial con­sol­i­da­tion pe­riod.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The Isuzu mu-X, the Philip­pines’ favourite SUV, will go on sale in SA af­ter July.

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