If you drive an Isuzu, Chevrolet or Opel vehicle, don’t panic just yet.
Although GM no longer considers the country to be a viable investment, it won’t be leaving you in the lurch.
GM says that after-sales and parts support services will continue for the rest of the year through GM dealer networks, after which Isuzu dealerships will take over these roles until a strategy has been formulated with the PSA group, who recently acquired the Opel brand.
“GM will award the responsibility for Chevrolet after-sales support to the approved Isuzu dealer network until discussions with PSA have been finalised,” the company said.
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It is important to note that all existing warranties and service plans currently in place will continue to be honoured even after the car manufacturer leaves the country.
Isuzu Motors has confirmed that it will be acquiring GM’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations in Struandale, Port Elizabeth, as well as GM’s 30% stake in Isuzu Truck SA, while the manufacture and supply of Chevrolet vehicles in the country will be halted by the end of the year.
“After a thorough assessment of our South African operations, we believe it is best for Isuzu to integrate our light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations into its African business,” Stefan Jacoby, GM Executive Vice-President and President of GM International, said in a statement.
“We determined that continued or increased investment in manufacturing in South Africa would not provide GM the expected returns of other global investment opportunities.”
Isuzu already has a strong presence in the country, having started operations here over 44 years ago, and Haruyasu Tanishige, Senior Sales Executive Officer for Isuzu Motors, says the company remains committed to strengthening the local market.
“Isuzu is building a strong base to grow on the African continent in the long term. Evidence of this is our recent purchase of GM’s 57,7 per cent shareholding in its East African operations, which has given us management control of the company,” he said.
“Integrating the South African light commercial vehicle operations into our business is the next step in laying the foundation for our growth plans in the future.”
It’s unclear at this stage how many jobs will be affected by GM’s departure, but the company says it is working closely with unions.