Outside of North America, medium-sized trucks such as the Chevy Colorado are a big deal. How big? Let’s just put it this way: big enough for General Motors and Isuzu — two manufacturers that have storied pasts in pickup trucks — to collaborate in certain geographic markets on the assembly of their medium-sized pickup offerings.
In particular, we’re referring to General Motors’ South Africa (GMSA) operations — which was recently integrated into GM Africa — and the fact that it assembles the Isuzu KB (aka Chevy D-Max) alongside the Chevy Utility (aka Montana) and Chevy Spark at the Port Elizabeth Struandale Assembly Plant. Isuzu’s KB/D-Max is built on the same platform as the Chevy Colorado/S10 and TrailBlazer, but features a different set of engines as well as front and rear fascias.
Most recently, 520 assembly line workers at the plant spent two weeks undergoing training focused on The General’s Global Manufacturing Systems (GMS) and were introduced to such topics as health & safety, built in quality, housekeeping, preventative maintenance, workplace organisation and environment issues. The facility commenced production of the Isuzu KB during the second week of January.
And it’s just this kind of close collaboration between GM and Isuzu that makes us wonder if there are projects the two automakers working on outside of the midsize pickup truck space.