Officially known as Isuzu Jidōsha Kabushiki-Kaisha, the Isuzu Motors Ltd., is another Japanese top vehicle manufacturer in the world. Isuzu mainly manufactures commercial vehicles and diesel engines but it also has a line of passenger vehicles in wide circulation around the world.
Isuzu Motors Ltd. has its roots way back in 1916. This was when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd. intended to have collaboration with the Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. to manufacture automobiles. This cooperation was further strengthened when a foreign company named Wolsely Motors Limited to produce Wolsely vehicles in East Asia in 1918.
Initially marketed as Sumiya and Chiyoda, the automobiles produced by Tokyo Ishikawajima and DAT Automobile Industries Co., Ltd., the line was then changes to Isuzu after the Isuzu River. By 1937, they reorganized the company and thus formed the Tokyo Automobile Industries Co., Ltd. Isuzu’s first car was produce in 1961, the Bellel. The name Bellel was inspired by the English translation of Isuzu meaning ‘fifty bells’. Isuzu tied up with short joint ventures with Rootes Group (1953), Fuji Heavy Industries (1966), Mitsubishi (1968) and Nissan (1969). In 1971, it signed a joint venture with General Motors.
In 1972, the joint venture between Isuzu and General Motors bore fruit to Chevrolet LUV, the first Isuzu built vehicle for GM. With close collaboration, Isuzu and GM started producing numerous vehicle models like the Gemini rebadged as the GM T-car for international export, as the Buick’s Opel in the United States and the Holden Gemini in Australia. By 1981, Isuzu is mass producing consumer and commercial vehicles under its own brand name in the United States, the isuzu P’Up.
In the same year, Isuzu, Suzuki and General Motors signed a three-way co-ownership and exchanging shares. This led the establishment of the IBC Vehicles in the United Kingdom producing Isuzu and Suzuki light vans sold under the Vauxhall’s Bedford label.
In 1993, Honda and Isuzu exchanged designs selling the Isuzu Rodeo and Isuzu Trooper as the Honda Passport and Acura SLX respectively. In turn, Isuzu will rebadge the Honda Odyssey as the Isuzu Oasis. Isuzu has continued its continuous ins and outs of joint ventures making its business line booming in the industry not just in the Japanese market but also in the International market.
Until this day, Isuzu and general motors are still closely tied up in collaboration works mass producing different lines of models and rebadges.
To commemorate the relationship it has built with General motors, isuzu officially changed its logo into two vertical pillars. These pillars are stylized to represent the first syllable in Isuzu or in Japanese ‘in いすゞ’.
- 1974 Isuzu Gemini
This Isuzu subcompact automobile is the son of the Bellett. Produced from 1974 to 2000, the Gemini gained worldwide recognition when it was rebadges as GM’s T-car, Buick’s Opel and the Holden Gemini in the International market.
- 1966 Isuzu Bellett
This classic designed vehicle produced from 1963-1973 is a two-door sedan. The vehicle’s name is inspired by the English translation of Isuzu which is ‘fifty bells’ like the 1961 Isuzu Bellel.
- Isuzu P’Up
This classic vehicle produced from 1983 to 1995 gained international recognition as the first Isuzu vehicle to be sold in the United States under the Isuzu brand name.
The main office of isuzu is fiund in Tokyo, Japan but the assembly plants of Isuzu are located in Tsuchidana, Fujisawa, Kanagawa and Hakuchu, Tochigi. Isuzu consumer and commercial vehicles are also manufactured in different plants across the world namely, Pakistan, the United States, China, Malaysia, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Poland, Philippines, Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Vietnam, India, Russia, Taiwan and Thailand.
What To Love about Isuzu?
Solidarity, Reliability, Long Lifespan and Incredible Fuel Economy
Isuzu has trademarked itself with the following plus factors. Isuzu vehicles are made to last long and made to make life cheaper for the vehicle owner. Isuzu vehicles are very forgiving to the wallet while providing comfort, great riding experience on and off the road.
What Not To Love About Isuzu?
Jack of All Trades but a Master of None
Isuzu may be able to do almost anything a driver would want a car to do but the problem with Isuzu’s is that they aren’t actually best at doing anything. They are capable, Yes! But they are not necessarily the best at anything.
Images Source: Wikimedia.org.