Isuzu is stepping up to fill the SUV gap left by Chev with the popular and proven mu-X.
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.
The Isuzu mu-X, the Philippines’ favourite SUV, will go on sale in SA after July.