Isuzu Logo

Isuzu was founded in the 1920s as a shipbuilding company. Forced to give up
ships after World War II, the company shifted their focus to commercial
vehicles, as their was an open market in Southeast Asia for cheap, reliable
trucks which could haul heavy loads across often potholed and poorly
maintained roads. Most known for their truck models, the company
nonetheless also produces some cars and SUVs, as well as buses and heavy
freight vehicles.

Remarkable Facts about Isuzu

  • Despite their commercial and industrial nature, the company created and
    competed in rally races in the 1960s.
  • The company has made more buses for Southeast Asia than any other company.
  • The D-Max pickup is the company’s biggest selling diesel pickup, but it is
    not available in America.
  • Many Isuzu are re-branded as Chevrolet for sales outside of Southeast Asia.
  • The Chevrolet Light Utility Vehicle pickup truck is actually a
    badge-engineered Isuzu D-Max.
  • Isuzu Famous Car Models

    Internationally, the company is most known for Isuzu trucks. While unable
    to unseat the Toyota Hilux as the most ubiquitous third-world vehicle,
    their trucks nonetheless make up the majority of commercial vehicles in
    Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Ranging from light duty to super heavy
    duty, these Isuzu trucks are designed with an eye towards conditions where
    maintenance is sparse and impractical and conditions are never good. Isuzu
    thus prides itself on the quality and workmanship of their trucks, as well
    as the fact they are affordable even to third world vendors.

    The company has also produced a number of Isuzu cars. Sold in America under
    the Geo and Chevrolet marques, Isuzu cars are almost exclusively small
    hatchbacks. The primary focus of their cars was to undercut competition
    from Toyota and Honda by offering the most sparing of spartan vehicles,
    sacrificing comfort and performance for reliability and low price. Although
    unsuccessful in the American market, Isuzu cars are very popular in third
    world countries. Most of these cars are sold in Vietnam and India, although
    they are making inroads into sub-Saharan Africa as well as Egypt and the
    Middle East.

    One point where Isuzu has succeeded stateside is in the realm of the SUVs.
    Isuzu SUVs, most notably Isuzu Rodeo, have been prized as “true SUVs” due
    to their ruggedness and true off road capability. Although built on a truck
    frame like traditional SUVs, these SUVs are designed to be light and tough,
    with a high ground clearance and an engine capable of hauling heavy loads.
    The Rodeo is particularly well suited for this, because it has a
    turbocharged diesel engine. The Isuzu rodeo is also much less expensive
    than similarly sized SUVs, making it ideal for off road “bashing,” where
    lesser vehicles would be too expensive to risk or too weak to survive.

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