Isuzu History: Strength and Durability That Transcends Generations

1916-1922 – The origin

The origins of the manufacturer Isuzu date back to 1916, when the  Tokyo Ishikawajima Engineering Co. Ltd begins constructing a factory to produce vehicles. In 1918, the company established a cooperation with the British manufacturer Wolseley Motors Ltd. for the commercialization, starting in 1922, of the A9 Wolseley, the first automobile manufactured in Japan. Two years later, truck production began.

Unleash the Power of Isuzu – Discover Our Legendary Isuzu History

1934-1949 – The first diesel vehicle

In 1934, the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. merged with Dot Automobile Manufacturing Inc. The company is the object of attention from the Japanese government, which proposes to give the primary vehicle a new name. 

Isuzu is the name chosen in honor of the great river that flows into the Grand Shrine of Ise, and many songs and poems are traditionally dedicated to it.

In 1936 the first air-cooled diesel engine for automobiles was producedIn 1937 the company became the automobile group Tokio Industries Inc. and continued producing trucks with diesel engines. But it takes until 1949 for the Isuzu brand, which means “fifty bells,” will become the hallmark of the entire group: Isuzu Motors Limited is born.

1970-1990 – International expansion

During the 1970s, Isuzu intensified its activities internationally, both from the point of view of organizational structure and the internationalization of production. 

In 1971 Isuzu reached an agreement with General Motors and began to produce vehicles for the US market: the Chevrolet LUV, the first vehicle sold in the US, and the Gemini, which was sold in the United States as “Opel Buick by Isuzu, “and in Australia ” Holden Gemini. “

In the eighties, the Isuzu brand was officially recognized internationally: the  Isuzu Pick Up became a product known to the general public. In 1986 the achievement of three million units exported was celebratedThe brand’s internationalization will continue with its joint venture with Subaru to create the company SIA Subaru-Isuzu Automotive (1987) and the birth of an exchange program with Honda (1994) that will last until 2002.

In June 1999, the production of diesel engines began in Poland for all Opel and General Motors vehicles on the European market.

1990-2000 – A diesel technology leader

The 1990s marked the success of pickup truck sales. Since 1990 and for several years, Isuzu has been the world’s leading manufacturer of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (more than 6.1 tons), reaching the number one sales position in the United States in 1996Likewise, it is the first manufacturer in the world to introduce the “common rail” in the range of off-road vehicles.

In December 1998, Isuzu obtained the “Technology of the Year” award for the best engine of the year by the “Automotive Investigation Journalists Conference” in Japan. In 2000 the company exceeded 15 million diesel engines produced at its facilities, consolidating the enviable leadership in the world.

2000-2013 – The new age

As part of a general corporate reorganization, in May 2002, the new Isuzu D-Max pickup was officially launched in the Thai market to achieve sales success in a short time. The following year, the marketing of D-Max began in Europe. 

As of 2004, Isuzu is the first recognized manufacturer globally, in the pickup market, except the United States, with more than 328,000 units produced.

Since 2006, Toyota has joined the Isuzu group, being the third-largest shareholder after Itochu and Mitsubishi Corporation. 2012 is the year of the reactivation of the D-Max: in June, the new version makes its entry into the European market.

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