Isuzu Motors

Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Native name
Isuzu Jidōsha Kabushiki-Kaisha
Public (K.K.)
Traded as TYO: 7202
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 30 Mar 1934 (30 Mar 1934)
Headquarters 6-26-1 Minami-oi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Susumu Hosoi (President & Representative Director)
Ryozo Tsukioka (Executive Vice President)
Products Commercial vehicles, diesel engines
Revenue Increase¥1,760,858 million (2014)[1]
Increase¥174,249 million (2014)[1]
Increase¥119,316 million (2014)[1]
Total assets Increase¥1,521,757 million (2014)[1]
Total equity Increase¥633,380 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
7,769 (29,430 consolidated)
Website Isuzu Worldwide site

Isuzu Motors Ltd. (いすゞ自動車株式会社 Isuzu Jidōsha Kabushiki-Kaisha) (TYO: 7202), trading as Isuzu (Japanese pronunciation: [isuzu], /iˈsz/), is a Japanese commercial vehicles and diesel engine manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo. Its principal activity is the production, marketing and sale of Isuzu commercial vehicles and diesel engines.

It also has a number of subsidiaries, included Anadolu Isuzu (a Turkish joint venture with Anadolu Group), Sollers-Isuzu (a Russian joint venture with Sollers JSC), SML Isuzu (formerly Swaraj Mazda), Jianxi Isuzu Motors (a Chinese joint venture with Jiangling Motors Company Group), Isuzu Astra Motor Indonesia, Isuzu Malaysia (Isuzu HICOM), Isuzu UK, Isuzu South Africa, Isuzu Philippines, Taiwan Isuzu Motors, Isuzu Vietnam and Isuzu Motors India. The company was established in 1916. In 1934 the company fused with the carmaker and was renamed Isuzu, after the Isuzu River.

Isuzu has assembly and manufacturing plants in Fujisawa, as well as in the Tochigi and Hokkaidō prefectures. Isuzu-branded vehicles are sold in most commercial markets worldwide. Isuzu's primary market focus is on commercial diesel-powered truck, buses and construction, while their Japanese competitor Yanmar focuses on commercial-level powerplants and generators.

By 2009, Isuzu had produced over 21 million diesel engines, which can be found in vehicles all over the world.[2] Isuzu diesel engines are used by dozens of manufacturers, to include Ford Motor Company and Renault-Nissan Alliance.


Isuzu Motors' history began in 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd. plan a cooperation with the Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. to build automobiles. The next step is taken in 1918, when a technical cooperation with Wolseley Motors Limited is initiated, meaning exclusive rights to the production and sales of Wolseley vehicles in East Asia.[3] In 1922 the first Wolseley model, the A-9 car, is domestically produced. The CP truck follows two years later; 550 of these are built until 1927.[4] In 1933, Ishikawajima Automotive Works merges with DAT Automobile Manufacturing Inc. (a predecessor of Datsun) and changes its name to Automobile Industries Co., Ltd. The products of this company, marketed as "Sumiya" and "Chiyoda",[3] were renamed Isuzu (after the Isuzu River) in 1934, following a meeting with the Japanese Governments Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI). The word Isuzu translated into English means "fifty bells"—hence the focus on "bell" in both the later Bellel and the Bellett.

The first Isuzu emblem, 1949–1974
Second generation Isuzu emblem, 1974–1991
Current Isuzu emblem, 1991–

In 1937 Automobile Industries is reorganized and formed into a new company, Tokyo Automobile Industries Co., Ltd. It was founded with a capital of ¥1,000,000. Only in 1949 is Isuzu also adopted as the company name. Meanwhile, in 1942, Hino Heavy Industries was split off from Isuzu, becoming a separate corporation.[5] Truck production (TX40 and TU60) began anew in 1945, with the permission of the occupation authorities.[6] Beginning in 1953 the Hillman Minx passenger car is produced under license of Rootes Group. The Minx remained in production until 1962, after the 1961 introduction of Isuzu's first own car, the Bellel.[3] Being a small producer making cars which were somewhat too large and pricey for the Japanese market at the time, Isuzu spent some time looking for a commercial partner. Under pressure from MITI, who were attempting to limit the number of automobile manufacturers in Japan, a cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) began in 1966. The Subaru 1000 was even shown in Isuzu's 1967 annual vehicle brochure, as a suitable complement to the larger Isuzu lineup.[7] This tie-up was over by 1968, when an agreement with Mitsubishi was formed. This ended even quicker, by 1969, and the next year an equally short-lived collaboration was entered with Nissan.[8] A few months later, in September 1971, what was to prove a more durable capital agreement was signed with General Motors.

Linking with General Motors

The first result of GM taking a 34% stake in Isuzu is seen in 1972, only months later, when the Chevrolet LUV becomes the first Isuzu-built vehicle to be sold in the United States. To symbolize the new beginning, Isuzu also developed a new logo for 1974, with two vertical pillars which are stylized representations of the first syllable in いすゞ ("Isuzu").[4] In 1974 Isuzu introduced the Gemini, which was co-produced with General Motors as the T-car. It was sold in the United States as Buick's Opel by Isuzu, and in Australia as the Holden Gemini. As a result of the collaboration, certain American GM products are sold to Japanese customers through Isuzu dealerships. Holden's Statesman was also briefly sold (246 examples) with Isuzu badging in Japan during the seventies.[9] Isuzu exports also increased considerably as a result of being able to use GM networks, from 0.7% of production in 1973 to 35.2% by 1976; this while overall production increased more than fourfold in the same period.[8] As a result of the GM joint venture, Isuzu engines were also used by existing GM divisions (some USA-market Chevrolet automobiles had Isuzu powertrains e.g. the Chevette and early S10/S15 trucks manufactured prior to 1985).

1966 Isuzu Bellett 1600 GT (PR90)

In 1981 Isuzu began selling consumer and commercial vehicles under their own brand in the United States. The Isuzu P'Up was the first model sold to consumers as an Isuzu, rather than as a Chevrolet or Buick. Isuzu's then president Toshio Okamoto then initiated a collaboration with small-car expert Suzuki to develop a global small car for GM, the S-car.[10] A three-way agreement of co-ownership was signed in August 1981, with Isuzu and Suzuki exchanging shares and General Motors taking a 5% share of Suzuki.[10] Following on from this, in 1985 Isuzu and GM established the IBC Vehicles venture in the United Kingdom, producing locally built versions of Isuzu and Suzuki light vans (the Isuzu Fargo and Suzuki Carry); to be sold in the European market under Vauxhall's Bedford brand. During this period Isuzu also developed a worldwide presence as an exporter of diesel engines, with their powerplants in use by Opel/Vauxhall, Land Rover, Hindustan, and many others. Two Isuzu model lines (Gemini, Impulse) were marketed as part of the Geo division (Spectrum, Storm) when it was initially launched as a Chevrolet subsidiary. In the domestic Japanese market, OEM deals with other manufacturers were entered to aid the poorly performing passenger car arm. It led to the badging of Suzukis, beginning in 1986,[11] and Subaru small commercial vehicles as Isuzus (Geminett, Geminett II). This OEM tie-up occurred alongside the establishment of SIA (Subaru-Isuzu Automotive), an American joint venture with Fuji Heavy Industries (the parent company of Subaru). Shortly afterwards, the Lafayette, Indiana plant became operational.

Contraction begins

1967 Isuzu Unicab, a two-wheel-drive utility vehicle

1992 – Isuzu ended US sales of the Impulse (Geo Storm). The following year it stopped exporting the Stylus (the basis for the Geo Spectrum), the last Isuzu-built car sold in the US.

1993 – Isuzu began a new vehicle exchange program with Honda, whereby Honda sold the Isuzu Rodeo[12] and Isuzu Trooper as the Honda Passport and Acura SLX, respectively. In return Isuzu began selling the Honda Odyssey as the Isuzu Oasis. Thus, Honda's lineup gained two SUVs, and Isuzu's lineup gained a minivan. In the Japanese market, the Gemini (Stylus) was now a rebadged Honda Domani and the Aska (originally based on the GM J-car) was a Honda Accord.

1996 – the Isuzu Hombre pickup, a badge-engineered GM truck (using the sheetmetal of the Brazil-market Chevrolet S10), was introduced, and Isuzu's United States sales reached a peak.

Isuzu LT132L on a Hong Kong motorway
Isuzu LV486R CNG City Bus in Bangkok with the CNG-MPI Engine

Market presence

Isuzu Gemini with European (Maltese) registration plates
Isuzu NHR (Elf) light truck

In most of Asia and Africa, Isuzu is mostly known for trucks of all sizes, after Isuzu small automobile sales drastically plummeted and Isuzu had to drop all sales of sedans and compact cars in the late 1990s. In the days when Isuzu did sell passenger cars, they were known for focussing on the diesel-engined niche. In 1983, for instance, long before the explosion in diesel sales, diesels represented 63.4% of their passenger car production.[22] In 2009, Isuzu abandoned the United States consumer market due to lack of sales. Isuzu as a corporation has always been primarily a manufacturer of small to medium compact automobiles and commercial trucks of sizes medium duty and larger, but markets around the world show different needs.

Isuzu Motors America discontinued the sale of passenger vehicles in the United States effective January 31, 2009. The company explained to its dealers that it had not been able to secure replacements for the Isuzu Ascender and Isuzu i-Series that would be commercially viable. Isuzu sold 7,098 cars in the year 2007. This action did not affect Isuzu's commercial vehicle or industrial diesel engine operations in the United States.[15] Isuzu has a contract with Budget Truck Rental to manufacture their rental trucks, shared with Ford, GMC, and Navistar International.[23]

In Australia, Isuzu was for many years a major supplier of light commercial and domestic vehicles to Holden (General Motors). However, by 2008, Holden was sourcing few Isuzus. At this time Isuzu began to sell the D-Max under the Isuzu name.

Subsidiaries and joint ventures

List of Isuzu Japanese facilities


The Fujisawa Plant was built and opened for production November 1961. It is located at Tsuchidana, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, and is still producing commercial vehicles for domestic Japanese use and international exports. The Toghichi Plant, located at Hakuchu, Ohira-Machi, Tochigi, Tochigi, is where the engines are currently built.

Mimamori-kun Online service

Mimamori-kun, which means to watch, monitor, or observe in Japanese, (literally "Mr. Watcher")[24] is a commercial vehicle telematics service developed by Isuzu Motors for monitoring and tracking commercial vehicle operations and movements in Japan. The service uses GPS satellite tracking services, and began February 2004. It is connected to the internet and provides government mandated driver activity logs, and records how long the driver was on-duty and how much time was spent driving.

The service also records when the driver took lunch breaks, where the truck stopped and for how long, and when the driver logged off for his duty shift. The service has been modified for personal use in Japan to keep track of family members, to include elderly members of health status and location of children for safety purposes.[25]

Some of the main features include Internet Digital Tachograph, the first of its kind wirelessly in Japan, combined with hands-free communication, voice guidance, and text messages displayed from the dispatch office. The system also has a password enabled vehicle theft prevention feature that will not let the vehicle start without the driver having entered a password.

See also

International efforts

Isuzu Diesel Engines / Power Train Division

Diesel engines are a major part of the Isuzu Motor's business with over 20 million engines worldwide.[26] The diesel power division, know as the PowerTrain Division, of Isuzu Motors America, is located in Plymouth, Michigan.[26]

North American Master Distributors

Southwest Products[27] - Covering California, Nevada and Arizona.[27]

United Engines[27]

Mack Boring Parts[27]

M & L Engine[27]

Isuzu Diesel Powered Equipment

Ag Equipment

Generator Sets

Construction Equipment

Important car, bus and light truck models

Isuzu CXZ (Giga) heavy truck
Isuzu Journey operated by Citibus (New Zealand)
2005 Isuzu D-max Spacecab Hi-lander in Thailand
Isuzu CQA650A/T
Isuzu LV223S
Isuzu LV423R
Isuzu MT111QB

Current passenger vehicle and SUVs in production

Former passenger vehicle and SUVs production

in later

Current Commercial vehicles in production

Former Commercial vehicles in production

Race cars

Concept cars

Buses (Philippines)

Buses (Thailand)

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Financial Results for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2014" (PDF). Isuzu Motors Limited. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  2. "". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  3. 1 2 3 Ruiz, Marco (1986). 'The Complete History of the Japanese Car: 1907 to the Present. Rome: ERVIN srl. p. 130. ISBN 0-517-61777-3.
  4. 1 2 Ishikawa, Kenji (2012-05-01). "トラックメーカーアーカイブ: いすゞ自動車のすべて [Truck Manufacturer Archive: Everything Isuzu]". Camion (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Geibun Mooks: 98. ISBN 978-4-86396-183-8
  5. "Investor Relations: Company History". Isuzu Motors. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
  6. Ishikawa, p. 7
  7. "Isuzu" (brochure) (in Japanese). Isuzu Motors. October 1967: 8–9. 42.10.
  8. 1 2 Ruiz, p. 131
  9. Bedwell, Steve (2009). Holden vs Ford: the cars, the culture, the competition. Dulwich Hill, New South Wales: Rockpool. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-921295-17-1.
  10. 1 2 "GM ties with two Japanese car makers". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Tokyo: 1. 1981-08-18.
  11. "Isuzu, Suzuki tie up in sales and production". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Tokyo: 10. 1986-01-18. |section= ignored (help)
  12. Truett, Richard Truett (October 21, 1993). "Expert Reviews: 1993 Isuzu Rodeo". Orlando Sentinel.
  13. "Mitsubish becomes top shareholder of Isuzu". Autoblog. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  14. Bensinger, Ken (January 31, 2008). "Isuzu quitting U.S. car market". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  15. 1 2 Johnson, Drew (2008-01-30). "Isuzu to leave U.S. market". Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  16. "Consumer complaints about Isuzu - Engine Failure". Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  17. Neff, John (2008-01-30). "CONFIRMED: Isuzu abandoning U.S. market". Autoblog. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  18. "Isuzu executive says competition helped push it out of North American market - MSNBC Wire Services -". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  19. "Isuzu, Toyota Shelve Development of Clean Diesel Engine | | Industry Week". 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  20. "GM drops medium-duty trucks, opens battery lab | | The Detroit News". 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  22. Yamaguchi, Jack K. (1984). Lösch, Annamaria, ed. Technology On Full Boost. World Cars 1984. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. p. 66. ISBN 0-910714-16-9.
  23. "Company Info - Budget Truck Rental". 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  24. Official press release from Isuzu concerning Mimamori-kun
  25. Mimamori-kun personal service (Japanese)
  26. 1 2 "Isuzu Diesel Engines - Home". Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 "Isuzu Diesel Master Distributor List" (PDF).
  28. "Case Study - Isuzu Diesel Engines". Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  29. 1 2 "Pavement Preservation & Maintenance Equipment Documents | CRAFCO". Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  30. Report. "Indiana Facility to Produce Isuzu Commercial Vehicles - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  31. "1991 Isuzu Como". 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2010-11-29.

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