Isuzu auto news

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GM to sell medium-duty truck business to Isuzu?

02/03/2009   [Original: Michigan Online via Autoblog]
Category: Commercial Trucks, GM, Isuzu

As General Motors seeks to streamline its production, the auto giant's medium-duty truck business is back on the block. This past summer a deal with Navistar fell through, leaving GM holding its hat, but a new deal could see the line transfer to Isuzu.

The Japanese automaker, which was due to withdraw from passenger car sales in North American as of a couple of days ago, is one of the world's largest producers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and has had a long history of collaboration with GM. The new arrangement, which was previously rejected, would have Isuzu take over production of the GMC TopKick and Chevrolet Kodiak trucks, also rebadged as the Isuzu H-Series (pictured above), currently produced alongside the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pick-ups at GM's Flint, Michigan truck plant. The deal is far from finalized, with Isuzu spokesmen apparently unaware of the negotiations reportedly in progress, but UAW officials say this could be the best way to keep its truck assembly workers employed.

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Isuzu to cease passenger vehicle sales in America at month's end

01/06/2009   [Original: Kelley Blue Book via Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Trucks/Pickups, Isuzu

Isuzu will cease selling passenger vehicles in America on January 31. In a news blurb that's about as abbreviated as the company's product lineup, Kelley Blue Book reports that the troubled Japanese automaker will stop selling its Ascender SUV and i-Series pickups at the end of the month, both badge-engineered versions of General Motors trucks. Isuzu sales have been winding down for some time now (it sold just over 7000 units last year), and the move had been expected as the plant that underpins the Ascender (shared with the Chevrolet Traiblazer, GMC Envoy, and Saab 9-7X) shuttered just before the holidays.

For all of you little Troopers, Hombres, and Amigos that remain brand loyalists, Isuzu has stated that it will continue to offer parts and service to owners, including honoring warranty claims.

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Spy Shots: LHD Isuzu D-Max caught in Midwest snow

12/30/2008   [Original: Pickuptrucks.com via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Trucks/Pickups, GM, Isuzu

What the heck's an Isuzu test mule doing banging around the Midwest? There's no hope that this D-Max, based on the GMT 355 platform, will ever see a North American showroom, since the company recently folded up its tent and left.

What's most likely is that an OEM is doing some development work on the big 3.0-liter four pot turbodiesel. Pickuptrucks.com speculates that Bosch or AVL's Detroit-area outposts might be fiddling with the engine under the ill-fitting hood, as the vehicle has been seen going to and fro some engineering facilites. So, while the idea of a GMT 355 with a torque-tacular turbo-diesel is exciting, it's likely not likely that consumers here will ever get the chance to buy one. Darn.

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Isuzu not interested in GM's medium-duty truck operations

09/25/2008   [Original: Reuters via Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, Commercial Trucks, GM, GMC, Isuzu

It must be pretty hard to unload an unwanted truck business these days. Just ask General Motors, which has attempted to sell its medium-duty truck operations first to Navistar and then Isuzu. Both heavy-duty diesel makers have passed on the offer. Isuzu had been rumored as a possible buyer for the unit after Navistar let the non-binding agreement pass by unsigned. Now, Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi tells Reuters, "There will be no such acquisition happening" from his company either, suggesting that the market for heavy-duty trucks has not yet hit the bottom.

GM and Isuzu still have dealings together as the two companies jointly develop and build the Duramax engines that power the General's most powerful full-size trucks, SUVs and vans. This cooperation is expected to continue on as it has with neither Isuzu or GM buying out the other to gain full control of the operations.

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GM considering selling medium truck operations to Isuzu

09/20/2008   [Original: Forbes via Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, Chevrolet, GM, GMC, Isuzu, Rumormill

Reports are coming in that the General is considering selling its medium truck operations to Isuzu. This news is totally unconfirmed by both parties, though Isuzu says it would be more than willing to listen if GM felt the desire to talk.

All of this comes shortly after Navistar chose not to follow through on its non-binding agreement to purchase the commercial truck unit from General Motors after seeing what's been happening with the U.S. economy and gas prices. After that deal went sour, GM said that it would continue looking for options, so this particular piece of the rumormill pie is anything but surprising. We contacted GM to see if the automaker had anything to say regarding the hubbub, and, as expected, it's staying tight-lipped for the time being. An Isuzu tie-up makes some sense, as the two truck makers have had dealings together in the past, most notably in the design of GM's current mid-sized trucks, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

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CONFIRMED: Isuzu abandoning U.S. market

01/31/2008   [Original: Reuters via Pickuptruck.com via Autoblog]
Category: Isuzu

Isuzu has officially announced that it's leaving the U.S. market and discontinuing sales of both the i-Series pickup and Ascender SUV. Both vehicles are produced via a joint venture with General Motors, the i-Series being based on the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon pickups and the Ascender being a rebadged version of the Chevy Trailblazer. Reuters reports that it will cost Isuzu some $37 million to bug out, mostly in dealer buyouts and other move-related costs. Though the Japanese automaker will not be selling vehicles in the States, it will continue to provide parts for service. Its reason for leaving is basically that GM has no plans to replace the Colorado/Canyon and Trailblazer with models that Isuzu could rebadge, and the automaker has no plans to develop its own new models for North America.

Isuzu's sales have been extremely weak in the U.S. these past few years. Last year it sold just 7,906 units, down from 15,751 units in 2006. We can't say that we're crushed that Isuzu is leaving, although we do remember a time when Isuzu sold more than just trucks, back when the brand's image was shaped by a guy named Isuzu Joe (see commercial after jump). Remember the Impulse, Lotus-tuned Stylus (the last car sold by Isuzu in the U.S. from 1990 - 1993, and one we wouldn't mind owning ourselves), the wild VehiCROSS and sharply styled Axiom? Yes, we can remember better times for Isuzu in the U.S., but recent bad times have led the automaker to this decision. Farewell, Isuzu! Read Isuzu's official press release after the jump.

Continue reading CONFIRMED: Isuzu abandoning U.S. market

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Isuzu plans Alabama truck plant

01/08/2007   [Original: ai.com via Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, Plants/Manufacturing, Commercial Trucks, Isuzu

When the fruity people at Del Monte closed their Pinson Valley distribution center in Alabama, they were left with 300k square-feet worth of warehouse space and a lot of unsold canned pears. Being in the market for a manufacturing center, Isuzu decided to pick up the facility with the intention of investing several million bucks to turn the warehouse into their newest North American commercial truck plant.

Over the next few years, 1,000 workers will be putting together medium- and full-size trucks using parts from outside sources. Isuzu hasn't set a date for the retrofitting or production to begin.

One interesting tidbit from the article in al.com, was that Isuzu may decide to build a smaller commercial truck for the U.S. market and has plans to introduce a four-ton truck into its lineup in 2009.

Thanks for the tip, Mike!

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Toyota to sell diesel hybrid by 2010 thanks to Isuzu

11/22/2006   [Original: AutoblogGreen, JapanToday via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Green, Tech, Isuzu, Toyota

AutoblogGreen has reason to be happy, having found evidence that Toyota's recent purchase of a 5.9% stake in Isuzu will bear fruit in 2010 when the Japanese juggernaut marries its Synergy hybrid drive system with a diesel engine. Presumably such a hook up was made possible, or at least hastened, by the expertise in diesels that Isuzu brings to the table. Toyota knows its way around an oil burner too, but its Hino commercial truck division usually deals with diesels meant for trucks and buses.

Heck, even we have to admit that we're excited for such a combo, as diesel engines excel in efficiency when cruising at highway speeds, much more so than a gasoline engine, which to this point has always been the electric motor's dance partner in modern hybrids. JapanToday is reporting that a Toyota subcompact with this diesel hybrid drivetrain will be available as soon as 2010. Assuming we're not all driving EVs by then, such a car should easily grab the mpg crown in the U.S.

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German mag speculates on 2010 Mustang wagon

11/14/2006   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Videos, Isuzu

Ford has been searching for new vehicle ideas everywhere of late. Do you think it would really look at a Mustang wagon seriously? The Blue Oval built one in the 60s out of a first generation coupe as a deign study; could it happen again?

German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport does. Enough so that it has put together a rendering of what it feels a Mustang "Shooting Brake" just might look like. We know that rumors have been spreading about the next Mustang being more aggressive looking, and the drawings do reflect just that. With the next model possibly on sale in 2010, is there a future for Mustang models beyond the innumerable iterations of the coupe and convertible?

{Source: Automotorundsport via CarScoop)

See renderings of the coupe and convertible along with the wagon from the 60's after the jump!

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Video: Automobile Mag (mercifully) shreds an Isuzu Trooper

11/14/2006   [Original: Automobile Magazine via Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Videos, Isuzu

Automobile Magazine took a previously loved Isuzu Trooper to a car shredder and, just for us machine freaks, shot video of its aged, slab-sided body disappearing forever into the 6,000 horsepower jaws of automotive death. It's amazing how quickly the device of destruction chews from the Trooper's smashed-in front bumper to its rear-view-impinging spare tire.

Clyde Phillips, manager of the junking facility, says on the video that they run more than 1,000 cars a day through monster machine, sending the finely shredded steel to recyclers to become newer, hopefully better, cars and trucks.

Now that this video is out, every AMC Matador in the country will be lying awake tonight wondering if it's next in the Cuisinart of the automotive world.

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