Nairobi — Leading multinational automaker Isuzu Motors Limited, Japan has officially launched Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA) in Kenya.
This follows the buyout of General Motor's 57.7% majority shares at General Motors East Africa (GMEA) in 2017. Mr Susumu Hosoi, Chairman of the Board, Isuzu Motors Limited, was the Chief Guest at the event.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mr Hosoi noted that Kenya was an important market with great potential in Africa. "My hope is to see Isuzu East Africa grow to be an integral location not only for the country but also for the East African region so that it will become a wonderful example for neighboring countries," he said.
Mr Hosoi added that Isuzu Motors Japan was keen to strengthen aftersales business in Kenya by deepening linkages with Isuzu Motors International, based in Dubai whose service network covers Africa and Middle East. "The key is to reinforce the service network that supports customers' vehicle operations and promote the provision of more satisfying after-sales services," he explained.
The Isuzu Motors Chairman expressed optimism on the continued support and cooperation from Isuzu suppliers and dealers in serving customers. "Our mission for Isuzu Motors working closely with Isuzu East Africa is to serve customers, encouraging and supporting them to use our products for a long time in Kenya and East African countries, as a reliable partner," he concluded.
Isuzu East Africa Managing Director, Rita Kavashe said that it had been an exciting journey for the company since it first announced that Isuzu Motors would acquire majority shareholding in GM East Africa. "Isuzu East Africa is starting out from a rich brand heritage spanning over 40 years that cuts across several sectors of our economy: from education, transport, PSV Transport, Agriculture, Construction, Health and Security," said Rita.
The Managing Director noted that Isuzu had remained successful in the market over the last six years by focusing on their customer needs. "Thanks to our loyal customers, the Isuzu brand has dominated the commercial segment in Kenya since 2012 with a market share of 51% in 2017. This was achieved in the backdrop of a tough economic period," Rita explained.
"Our focus in the immediate future is to accelerate our growth in other East African markets. We will leverage the support from Isuzu Motors International in all aspects of our business," she added.
Delivering his official address at the event, the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Mr Adan Mohamed, commended Isuzu Motors Limited for their commitment to Kenya. "I would like to congratulate Isuzu Motors for their strong confidence in our country demonstrated by their investment in Isuzu East Africa," he said.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that the Kenya Government had over the years remained a strong supporter of local assembly and was keen to see the sector grow. Besides food security, affordable housing, and healthcare, we have Manufacturing as one of the big four economic pillars announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta. We shall work closely with motor industry players to achieve rapid growth for the sector and ensure return on investments," he explained.
Isuzu EA officially changed its name from GM East Africa in July 2017 after attaining the required regulatory approvals. The change of name was initiated when Isuzu Motors Limited acquired GM's 57.7% shareholding in GMEA, changing its majority ownership. The move, by Isuzu Motors, was aimed at increasing focus on the Isuzu brand that constituted 95% of GMEA sales.