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Isuzu retains top truck selling position for tenth year, looks to expand diesel alternatives

Isuzu Trucks revenue generation senior VP Craig Uren gives insight into the company's future plans. Video and editing: Shadwyn Dickinson.

16th February 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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Commercial vehicle manufacturer Isuzu Truck, which is celebrating a tenth consecutive year as the truck market leader, is progressing with plans to roll out newer and more environment-friendly truck drivetrain options.

According to the latest report by naamsa | The Automotive Business Council, Isuzu Truck recorded sales of 30 153 units of commercial vehicles (including vans and buses) in 2022 – an increase of 11.4% year-on-year, with Isuzu’s growth at 4.7%.

Excluding vans and buses, Isuzu Truck sold 3 304 trucks – a record performance for the brand, which beat the previous year’s total by an increase of 4.76%.

The medium commercial vehicle market increased by 17.8%, while Isuzu’s sales in this category increased by 10.12% year-on-year.

The heavy commercial vehicle market increased by 19.6%, while Isuzu’s sales in this category increased by 0.24% year-on-year.

Isuzu revenue generation senior VP Craig Uren says the Isuzu brand has several reasons to celebrate the New Year, after recording being at the forefront of commercial vehicle sales in South Africa.

This, he says, is the work of everyone in the Isuzu dealer network, and the team members who power the Isuzu products and “stand by them day in day out”.

Regarding holding the leading position in commercial vehicle sales in South Africa, Uren says Isuzu’s growth can be attributed to the relentless hard work of the greater Isuzu team, the backbone of which is its dealer network and their relationships with customers.

However, he points out that there are several market disruptions making trade challenging, including global and domestic supply chain issues impacting many sectors of the South African economy.


Isuzu is using its 2022 market success to continue building capacity and capability to meet and exceed customers’ and the industry’s needs. In this regard, the brand is progressing with efforts to add greener fuel alternatives to address a changing transport sector.

The transport sector is a significant contributor to emissions, relying heavily on internal combustion engines to power commercial vehicles. In this regard, Isuzu Truck is bringing to the domestic market cleaner diesel powertrains, and alternatives.

Currently, Isuzu Truck is offering cleaner-burning Euro 5-spec engines on its N- and F-series trucks, while looking to expand the Euro 5 offering to other truck models in the short term. Uren says dual-fuel models are already available on all models, for specific customer applications. 

Isuzu is also looking to expand its diesel alternative options by bringing in more compressed natural gas- (CNG-) powered trucks, especially into Gauteng, where the fuel is more readily available. “Our first batch of CNG vehicles has already arrived. [CNG] is probably a better solution than electric vehicle for the next five or six years,” he says, because it is not reliant on a power network that is presently frequently interrupted, as it is with loadshedding.

CNG trucks will be targeted to specific customers that Isuzu Truck will determine.

In the medium term, Uren says Isuzu Truck is interested in bringing certain electric trucks into South Africa

Internationally, he says between 300 to 500 electric trucks are already on order for various customers, mostly in developed nations that have electric vehicle targets.

Uren says that in Africa and other developing nations, non-electric alternative fuel trucks are likely to be better suited to the inherent environment they will operate in, with a keen eye on hydrogen-fuelled units and CNG-burning models.

In the longer term, Isuzu Truck South Africa is planning to introduce hydrogen-electric trucks.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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