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Transformation is a business imperative for Isuzu

Isuzu Motors South Africa’s third Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) audit ended on a high note for the automotive manufacturer’s transformation, with it attaining an automotive industry leading level 1 on the scorecard for 2020.

This is a remarkable achievement considering that Isuzu Motors South Africa was only launched in January 2018, says Billy Tom, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company.

“We have embraced transformation as a business imperative and our new scorecard reflects the good business practices which we have implemented in support of this.  We regard transformation as critical to ensuring the sustainability of our business, while at the same time it reflects our commitment to being part of the transformation of our country.”

Tom said that it is important that transformation is adopted by businesses as a pragmatic growth strategy geared at realising the country’s full potential by bringing more South Africans into the economic mainstream.

“Furthermore, to help drive this change South Africans should support businesses who are actively contributing towards the transformation and growth of our local economy.”

He emphasised that while he was pleased with the company’s performance to date, the company’s transformation journey was only just starting.

“The focus going forward will be to continue to implement initiatives which will further transform our business and also that of our entire value chain.  We must all operate in line with the demographics of South Africa and be tuned into the needs of our diverse customer base.”

Elvis Hermans, Isuzu’s Senior Vice President for Human Capital and Corporate Services, said this achievement is the result of a number of critical actions and decisions taken over the last 12 months to ensure Isuzu’s alignment to the country’s transformational and economic progression goals.

“We are committed to the growth and development of our people, our dealers and our suppliers. To this end we set ourselves rigorous goals and have acted swiftly in implementing the right strategies to achieve these goals,”

said Hermans.

Isuzu recently became a participant in the Automotive Industry Transformation Fund (AITF)

which was established by the Department of Industry, Trade and Competition to support the transformation of the automotive industry value chain.

“We will be working closely with the AITF to further support supplier and dealer transformation initiatives, as well as the deepening of the localisation of components, which is a pillar of the Automotive Industry Master Plan,”

emphasised Hermans.

As a first the company supported the Youth Employment Service (YES) Programme this year with the placement of 72 candidates, thus offering young South Africans paid work experience, while creating a pipeline of talent for the future.

“We will continue to place emphasis on this important initiative which is already resulting in tangible benefits for these young people and our business,”

said Hermans.

Furthermore, Isuzu’s community development programmes are similarly aimed at the development of young South Africans, especially in the field of mathematics, science and engineering and the preservation of our natural resources and the environment, while providing disaster relief to communities in crisis.

Tom feels passionate about the company’s responsibility to help uplift and grow the economy.

“We should always remember that an economy cannot grow by excluding people and that an economy which is not growing, cannot integrate all of its citizens in a meaningful way.”

He added that it was important that transformation was also embraced beyond the BBBEE scorecard to adopting an approach of greater flexibility, adaptability and openness in responding to the rapid changes happening in our environment due to Covid-19.

“Given the seismic shift which is happening around the globe and within our industry, we need to rethink and reshape how we do business going forward.  Alongside this, we need to ensure that we understand how our customer needs are changing and how we need to respond to this.”

Billy Tom, Isuzu Motors South Africa Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director
Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa