General Motors and Isuzu Motors Ltd., just as we reported recently, have decided to ink a deal to partner on commercial vehicles, with the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world putting in its lineup versions of the Japanese commercial vehicles’ N-Series trucks.
The main Chevrolet brand’s dealers will be given the task of selling six models of the Isuzu-built trucks starting with 2016, read a common statement, with the two companies also mulling the usage of GM commercial-vehicle parts across Isuzu models. The deal will assist GM in expanding its commercial-vehicle prowess with low cab-forward models while allowing Isuzu to build its lineup. The basis of the agreement will be the expansion of a pre-existent joint venture, Dmax, that builds V8 diesel engines in Moraine, Ohio. “It isn’t sexy but the commercial truck and van business has been hot,” comments an analyst. “And General Motors is linking with Isuzu, a tried-and-true partner from the past.” GM will get Isuzu trucks with regular-cab and crew-cab body styles, using 6-liter V8 gasoline engines from GM or 3-liter and 5.2-liter turbo-diesel engines made by Isuzu, announced the two companies.
GM has been partnering with Isuzu for years, being an investor in the Japanese manufacturer from 1971 until 2006, when the Detroit-based automaker decided to sell its 7.9 percent stake in the Tokyo-based company. The US carmaker was already feeling the pain of the upcoming financial crisis, which ultimately led to its bankruptcy restructuring under government assistance.