What do former Springbok Rugby Captain John Smit, the first unnaturally conceived child, the Walkman and the motion picture Grease have in common?
They were altogether became aware with the world around them at the same time when the first Isuzu bakkie went into local production in South Africa.
The year 1978 was a noteworthy one of the firm top choices on South African roads– whether it’s pulling sheep in the Karoo, or speeding between the Gauteng high rises, the Isuzu bakkie has been synonymous with the South African lifestyle for four decades.
The company manufactured the first Isuzu bakkie, baring the Isuzu badge at the Kempston Road plant in Port Elizabeth 40 years prior.
Today, gloating three body styles and a broad model line-up, Isuzu bakkies keep on being a main contender in the marketplace– tried and tested to be a genuine legend to experience the Isuzu Motors South Africa company strapline ‘With you, for the long run’.
When the company launched the first bakkie the original selling price was a whopping R3 485 for a 1.6-litre petrol engine bakkie and R4 295 for a 2.0-litre diesel engine bakkie.
Johan Vermeulen, Isuzu Motors South Africa executive, manufacturing and supply chain said the bakkie has advanced throughout the years to stay one of South Africa’s firm top picks.
“Throughout the years Isuzu vehicle assembly experienced numerous progressions. We began creation at the Kempston Road plant where we delivered five generations and moved to the more current Struandale plant when we constructed the 6th generation.”
“With introducing modern technology, automation and lean manufacturing processes into car manufacturing, we could enhance efficiencies and quality of our products. Today, six generations later, our cutting edge manufacturing procedures and steady up-skilling of work, have made Isuzu bakkies one of South Africa’s favourites,” Vermeulen said.
A pioneer the Isuzu bakkie was the first in South Africa to include rack and pinion controlling and independent front suspension.
In the 1990s Isuzu was also the first to bring double cabs into the South African market.
Other than its creative nature, the Isuzu bakkie has numerous honours in its famous trophy cabinet, including 15 local continuance records.
In 2010 the Isuzu bakkie set 15 general speed and distance records more than 72 hours at the Gerotek – with a KB 300 D-TEQ bakkie finishing 12 243.385 km at a normal speed of 170,047 km/h. A KB 250 D-TEQ likewise accomplished another class record distance of 11 495.567 km.
The company launched the 6th generation Isuzu bakkie in 2013.
It is a follow up of the long Isuzu tradition of building incredible bakkies in South Africa, with more than 600 000 Isuzu bakkies built to date.