General Motors South Africa

General Motors South Africa, or GMSA, is a wholly owned subsidiary of American automobile manufacturer General Motors. It manufacturers and distributes automobiles under the Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu brands. The company is headquartered in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

General Motors South Africa
Wholly owned subsidiary
PredecessorDelta Motor Corporation (1987–2003)
Founded1913 (formation)
2004 (reacquisition)
South Africa
Number of employees
ParentGeneral Motors

Founded in 1913, GMSA initially distributed Chevrolet vehicles before beginning to manufacture and distribute vehicles of all of GM's brands in 1926, with the Chevrolet Series AA Capitol. By the 1960s this included the British Vauxhall marque.[1]

In 1986, it was sold off and rebranded the Delta Motor Corporation as a result of the passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in the United States and subsequent divestment of General Motors from apartheid South Africa.[2] Delta continued to use the Opel, Isuzu and Suzuki brands under licence from GM as well as pay for the supply of assembly kits.[3]

Following the transition to democracy in the 1990s, GM acquired a 49 percent stake in the company in 1997, and in 2004 the company once again became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, reverting to its original name.[4]

It also assembles vehicles for export to other right hand drive markets in the region, such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya and Mauritius.[5]

Although GM divested the last of its ownership of Isuzu, it still owns the dealership network in South Africa, and builds/assembles the Isuzu pick-ups and trucks.

On 18 May 2017 GMSA announced in Port Elizabeth that it will cease operations in the South African market by the end of 2017.[6]

Passenger CarsEdit

Chevrolet Cruze
Opel Astra GTC

Commercial VehiclesEdit


In 1974, General Motors South Africa Ltd. began constructing GM-designed locomotives rather than importing them from the United States. In January 1987, GMSA was sold to local management which continued production as the Delta Motor Corporation. The company failed after one order of 11E-Type locomotives were constructed using GMSA leftovers. Delta Motor Corporation focused instead on automobile engines rather than locomotives, shutting down the plant where the locomotives were constructed.

The locomotive customers for GMSA (1974–1987) were:

Locomotive modelsEdit

Exit from South AfricaEdit

GMSA announced on 18 May 2017 that it will stop production and sales of Chevrolet products by end of 2017. Isuzu will buy back the 30% ownership of Isuzu Trucks South Africa and will purchase GMSA's manufacturing facility and take control of the Port Elizabeth headquarters, to ensure that the Isuzu brand remains in South Africa.[6] As regards the Opel brand, on 14 June 2017 it was announced that the Opel brand would remain after the Williams Hunt Group stepped in to become the official distributor starting from January 2018.[9][10][11] The deal with Isuzu was approved by the Competition Commission on 27 November 2017.[12]


  1. ^ "Firms Eying African Strife". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 13 April 1960. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  2. ^ General Motors South Africa Overview, General Motors, 10 December 2013
  3. ^ Sanctions Against Apartheid, Community Agency for Social Enquiry (South Africa), New Africa Books, 1989, page 230
  4. ^ GM to slip into Delta's driving seat, CAR magazine, 30 October 2003
  5. ^ The Business of Sustainable Mobility: From Vision to Reality, Paul Nieuwenhuis, Philip Vergragt, Peter Wells. Greenleaf Publishing, 2006
  6. ^ a b "General Motors Media South Africa". 18 May 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b "GM Media South Africa Chevrolet Vehicles". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b "GM Media South Africa Opel Vehicles". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Breaking News: General Motors exits SA – Isuzu to step in [with Video]". 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ "OPEL FOCUSED ON GROWING IN SOUTH AFRICA". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Opel's future in SA secured! Williams Hunt steps in..." Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Commission approves Isuzu Motors SA's requisition of Isuzu Light Commercial Vehicle". Independent Online. Retrieved 24 December 2017.

External linksEdit