General Motors East Africa (GMEA) has, effective August 1, changed its company name to Isuzu East Africa Limited.
General Motors East Africa re-brands to Isuzu East Africa
The Detroit-based motor-vehicle manufacturer has changed its company name to Isuzu East Africa, completing the 57.7 per cent buyout
The move comes following a buyout in which Isuzu Motors Limited acquired GM’s 57.7 per cent of the company, making it the majority shareholder.
The change is aimed at increasing focus on the Isuzu brand with the Japanese auto-maker expecting to see a rise in the number of vehicles manufactured from the current 5,000 to 11,000.
Managing Director Rita Kavashe, said the change is a continuation of the vision the management and board have had for 40 years now.
“This change signifies a positive continuation of our growth and strategic direction under the new majority shareholder,” Kavashe said.
She added that their commitment to introducing new technology, expertise and employment is an investment for Kenya and the East African region.
“Our focus over the next five years is to accelerate our growth in other East African markets and beyond," she said.
Isuzu East Africa will also be co-owned by Kenya’s Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation with a 20 per cent holding, Centum Investments at 17.8 per cent while Japanese trading company Itochu Corporation will have a 4.5 per cent stake.
For General Motors, the decision to quit the Kenyan market came as a natural next step for the business given that about 95 per cent of its sales in Kenya are Isuzu products.
GMEA has dominated the Kenya auto market for close to 42 years increasing its market share to 35 per cent last year from 33.5 per cent in 2015 despite a decline in unit sales.
Latest data by the Kenya Motor Industry Association shows that GMEA maintained its market leader position in 2016 after selling 4,858 units of the 13,869 new cars sold by the entire industry. However, the unit sales had dropped from 6,690 units in 2015.
Isuzu East Africa will continue to assemble and distribute buses and light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, as well as the popular Isuzu D-Max pick-ups.
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