Isuzu Motors Limited has a long history of quality construction when it comes to cars and trucks of all sizes. Their commercial vehicles and diesel engines are some of the highest regarded in their fields. This article will take a look at the history of Isuzu trucks and commercial vehicles, so you can understand how this company has become the brand it is today.
In 1916 the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company created a plan to work with the Tokyo Gas Electric Industrial Company to manufacture automobiles. In addition, in 1918 this new company received a license to build and sell cars in Japan that had been designed by the Wolseley Motor Company, which was based in the UK. This began a long history of international joint ventures for the future Isuzu Company. By 1922 the Wolseley A-9 was produced in Japan and sold locally. Their first truck, the CP, debuted two years later. Over the next couple decades, various corporate mergers change the name of this company until 1949 when Isuzu Motors Limited became the official company name. By this time the company is one of the largest manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks in Japan.
Continued Partnerships and Growth
The need for heavy reconstruction after World War II led to a boom in production of Isuzu vehicles, and especially trucks. By 1959, Isuzu had created the cab over forward control truck which came to be known as the N series. Due to the quality, ease of driving, and constant innovation, the N series remains a popular seller to this day. In 1971, a deal was signed with General Motors to begin producing Isuzu vehicles in America for the first time. Further partnerships ensue over the next three decades as Isuzu makes deals with Subaru and Honda to develop and exchange car lineups for various models. Popular trucks like Isuzu Rodeo and Isuzu Pickup furthered the brand name for high-quality vehicles, and the multiple world records Isuzu established in 1983 for their diesel engines show the world their commitment to innovation and excellence.
Focus Turns to Commercial Trucks
By 1999 GM had taken a 49% stake in Isuzu Company and effectively taken over the direction of the company as the major stakeholder. Unfortunately this happened right about the same time as the new millennium hit its first recession. After several years of falling sales, Isuzu decided to shut down its American operations for consumer cars and trucks, and focus exclusively on their commercial vehicles and diesel engines.
Isuzu Commercial Vehicles Today
Today you will continue to find the Isuzu N series and F series on the road. In addition the successful line of voluntary commercial vehicles is available for towing, pest control, landscaping, and food service. Since 1986 they have been the number one seller of low cab forward trucks in the US. In addition, over 86% of the trucks that Isuzu has sold in the US are still being driven today, which means that Isuzu has established itself as a premier truck manufacturer in the US and around the world.