Start of Isuzu Motors Limited Brand
Though it didn't have the Isuzu name as yet, the company has its beginning in 1916 when the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company joined in with the Tokyo Gas Electric Industrial Company to make vehicles. Two years later, they were given permission to do this and to sell the new vehicles in Japan, with the cars made being designed by a UK company called the Wolseley Motor Company.
Isuzu Starts Producing Trucks
Isuzu branched out into their truck making venture in 1922 with their first commercial truck being the Wolseley Model A-9. In 1934 they came up with the Isuzu name in honor of the Isuzu River in the Ise Shrine area, and by 1949 they officially took the Isuzu Motors Limited name and were making headlines as the biggest heavy duty truck maker in Japan.
Isuzu Trucks After World War II
After the war, Isuzu began to make their trucks at an even faster pace to keep up with the new demands on the company. They produced commercial trucks designed to transport food and other products, which were used in the reconstruction of Japan after World War II. The need for these heavy duty commercial trucks helped create a boom in the manufacturing at the Isuzu plants. By 1959, Isuzu was producing several kinds of heavy duty commercial trucks and had designed a cab forward control truck dubbed as the N series. This style of truck is still popular because of the turning radius, and the fact that it is easy to drive. In 1960, the N Series trucks were also made featuring a diesel engine. This was the first time this was done in the manufacture of this type of truck in Japan.
Isuzu Over the Next Decades
Isuzu manufacturers continued their innovation over the next few decades, coming out with the medium weight series F trucks in 1970, a flat low series truck four years later, a wide cab in 1980 and they came out with trucks with front end suspension in their trucks in 1990.
In 1995 Isuzu introduced the C&E series of heavy duty trucks and in 1997 the company showed how innovative it was by producing Japan's very first four bag air suspension in their trucks with the GIGAMAX series.
In 1998 developed a bedless style of truck called the Forward V and in 1999 they debuted the Forward MAX, and in 2002, their more efficient Smoother F transmission was placed in some of their truck models.
Isuzu Works With the U.S.
The U.S. first worked with the Isuzu Motors Limited in 1971 when General Motors made a deal with them to make Isuzu vehicle for the very first time. This began the Isuzu venture to work with other U.S. companies in the next 30 years as they made similar deals with Chevrolet and Dodge.
In fact, by 1999 General Motors had become the majority stakeholder in Isuzu at 49 percent, but sadly this occurred around the time of a major recession and Isuzu ended up shutting down these operations in the U.S. and instead focused mainly on making commercial trucks and diesel engines.
Modern Isuzu Trucks Era
These days, Isuzu still has some of its N and F series of commercial trucks driving around the world. Plus, they are still making commercial trucks designed for towing, hauling building supplies, working in pest control, and landscaping. It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of the Isuzu trucks that have been sold in the U.S. are still running due to their high quality and workmanship.
In 2005, Isuzu was known at the biggest truck manufacturer in the world for heavy and medium duty trucks by 2009 they have made more than 21 million diesel engines, which are currently being used by the companies Renault, Opel and General Motors.
Today, Isuzu has its headquarters in Tokyo and is still turning out quality trucks with a multitude of uses.