BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
LOCAL car dealer, Autoworld Zimbabwe, on Tuesday launched the Isuzu D-Max vehicle, targeting to sell over 500 units by year-end.
Addressing journalists at the on-going Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, Autoworld business development manager Piet de Klerk said over the last two years, there had been a lot of significant changes in the structure of Isuzu’s presence in Africa.
“As of January 2018, Isuzu took control of the production and distribution of its light commercial vehicles in sub-Saharan Africa. This was a mammoth task that came with a lot of positive changes,” he said.
“I must commend our principals, Isuzu Motors South Africa, for carrying out this transition and thank them for their unwavering support. It is because of these changes that the Isuzu brand in Africa will now be aligned with broader global brand identity of Isuzu Motors Ltd.
“This brings us to the launch of the Isuzu D-Max in Zimbabwe. As we start this new chapter, we say goodbye to the KB range of bakkies that we have grown to love in Zimbabwe and hello to the Isuzu D-Max,” he said.
Klerk said although the name has changed, the qualities that have gone into the vehicle remain the same, adding they would continue to provide reliable and durable vehicles.
“We have changed our name, not our stripes. Along with the change of name, we have also seen some upgrades to the vehicle. The D-Max comes with a bolder front grill, bi-LED headlamps and a more plush cabin interior,” he said.
“The biggest change is the introduction of a new six-speed gearbox, in both manual and automatic, which increases fuel efficiency. There are also a few upgrades and extra options on the infotainment system, which all adds up to a more pleasurable driving experience.”
Klerk said Autoworld was committed to supporting the Isuzu brand in Zimbabwe and providing world-class service to their clients.
“We are targeting to sell 500 units by the end of the year and then we see if there are significant increases in the new vehicle market in the coming years, so, we can get back-up to sort of levels that we have achieved in the past of selling about 1 000 units per year.”
To brush off competition, Klerk said their major focus was on after-sale services.
“We want to make sure that our clients are looked after, not after purchasing the new vehicle, but during the vehicle’s whole lifetime. We do offer service intervals of 15 000km and that separates us from some of our competitors, as their service intervals are a lot lower,” he said.
Isuzu achieved 25% overall market share in Zimbabwe in 2018, up from the 18,5% achieved in 2017.
The car dealer has already sold about 92 vehicles during the first quarter of the year.