Isuzu Motors Ltd is a Japanese automobile manufacturer, specializing in production of trucks, buses and SUVs. It also produces diesel engines. Its headquarters is located in Tokyo. The company is named after the Isuzu River. more
The history of the company started in 1916, when Tokyo Gas Company and Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd. decided to build cars. However, it got its name only in 1934 and it started to be used officially only in 1949.
Isuzu Bellel was the first own car of the brand, released in 1961. It became the first Japanese passenger car with a diesel engine. In 1966, the company started to cooperate with Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru). However, this collaboration didn’t last long as well as with Mitsubishi and Nissan.
In 1971, Isuzu signed a contract with General Motors. GM took a 34% stake in Isuzu and soon, the Chevrolet LUV became the first Isuzu-built vehicle, sold in the United States. In 1974, Isuzu presented Gemini, the first car, developed together with GM. It was sold as Buick's Opel by Isuzu in the US and as Holden Gemini in Australia. In 1981, Isuzu started to sell its cars and commercial vehicles under its own brand. Isuzu P'Up was the first car to be sold as Isuzu in the US. In 1987, Isuzu and GM create their joint venture, IBC Vehicles. In 1998, they form other joint venture, DMAX, which produced diesel engines.
In 1993, Isuzu began to cooperate with Honda. Honda started to sell Isuzu Rodeo and Isuzu Trooper as Honda Passport and Acura SLX and, in its turn, Honda Odyssey was sold as Isuzu Oasis. After the introduction of the Isuzu Hombre pickup in 1996, the sales of the company reached their peak in the US. In 2000, the number of the Isuzu cars sold in the USA dropped and in 2009, the company withdrew its vehicles from the US market.