Isuzu Motors Ltd., trading as Isuzu, is a Japanese commercial vehicle 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, including Anadolu Isuzu (a Turkish joint venture with Anadolu Group), Sollers-Isuzu (a Russian joint venture with Sollers JSC), SML Isuzu (an Indian venture formerly known as Swaraj Mazda), Jiangxi 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, Isuzu Motors India and BYD Isuzu.
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. Isuzu diesel engines are used by dozens of vehicle manufacturers, including General Motors.
The name Isuzu translates into English as "fifty bells".
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 sold passenger cars, they were known for focusing 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. 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. Isuzu has a contract with Budget Truck Rental to manufacture their rental trucks, shared with Ford, GMC, and Navistar International.
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.
Isuzu's entry in the Thai market proved to be one of its most successful. Its presence in the country began in 1966 when it established a manufacturing facility for pick-up trucks in the Samuthprakarn province with a capacity of 155,000 units per year. The automaker quickly became a market leader so that by 2002, the company transferred its production base from its original location in Fujisuwa, Japan to Thailand. Isuzu claimed the largest share of the Thai commercial vehicle market, outperforming its competitors for at least 23 years. By 2006, the company transferred to an industrial zone in Chacheongsao province to support further production expansion. By 2017, Isuzu has been exporting pick-up trucks, with shipments reaching North America, Latin America, Australia, and Japan. It the same year, it announced that its profit climbed 7 percent and has doubled its annual truck production to meet overseas demands.
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