General Motors (GM) and Isuzu Motors today announced their respective future plans for the Isuzu, Chevrolet and Opel brands in South Africa.
GM will cease the manufacture and supply in South Africa and will phase the Chevrolet brand out of the local market by the end of 2017. The company has committed to ‘continue to provide service and parts support for Chevrolet customers.’
This will be done through Isuzu South Africa, which will buy over GM SA’s light commercial manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth (where the Isuzu KB and medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks will continue to be built) and it will also take over GM SA’s Parts Distribution Centre and Vehicle Conversion and Distribution Centre.
GM South Africa President and Managing Director Ian Nicholls said: “These decisions were not made lightly. We appreciate the support that our employees, customers, dealers, suppliers, the government and other key stakeholders have given us over the many years that we have operated in this country. We will manage the transition as smoothly as possible.”
The company also stated that it will end production of the Chevy Spark and the Utility bakkie in the coming months.
It’s not clear yet how this decision will affect the Opel brand, as the PSA Goup (which owns Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles) is in the process of buying the German brand from the GM group.
According to GM SA’s statement, “GM continues to work with PSA to evaluate future opportunity for the Opel brand in South Africa. Importantly, existing Chevrolet and Opel customers will continue to be supported in the market.”