Isuzu Motors Ltd. is a Japanese multinational firm that engages in manufacture, marketing, and sale of commercial vehicles and diesel engines. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, it is one of the oldest players in the Japanese automotive scene.
The brand traces its roots to 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., in partnership with Tokyo Gas Electric Industrial Co., decided to venture into vehicle production. In 1918, the organization entered into a technical collaboration agreement with British car maker Wolseley Motor Ltd. to produce passenger vehicles. In 1922, the company came out with a locally-produced Wolseley A9, which is known to be the first passenger automobile produced in Japan. Two years later, they introduced in Japan the Wolseley CP 1.5-ton payload truck, which also became the Japanese government's official military truck.
Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering parted ways with Wolseley in 1927 and started producing its own car models. In 1933, Ishikawajima Automotive Works war renamed Automobile Industries Co., Ltd., following a merger with DAT Automobile Industries Co., Ltd. A year later, the company launched a truck that met the standards set by Japan's Ministry of Trade and Industry and named it quot;Isuzu,quot; a tribute to the Isuzu River.
In 1937, Tokyo Automobile Industries Co. Ltd, was established. Two years later, in 1939, the organization changed its name to Isuzu Motors Limited. After the Second World War, demand for commercial vehicles to transport all sorts of goods and materials ballooned. Isuzu benefitted from this and played a major role in reconstruction efforts by supplying the market with an array of light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and buses.
The ensuing decades witnessed Isuzu introducing iconic vehicles, including the Elf light-duty trucks in 1959, the FORWARD medium-duty trucks in 1966, the GIGA heavy-duty trucks and tractors in 1994, and the GALA bus series in 1996. Isuzu also launched a few passenger vehicles, including the Hillman in 1953, the Bellet in 1963, the 117 Coupe in 1968, the Gemini in 1974, and the Piazza and the Bighorn in 1981.
Isuzu debuted in the local market scene in 1950 with its truck lineup. In 1972, General Motors and Isuzu jointly established GM Philippines. Changes in the following years led to the formation of Isuzu Motor Philippines, a wholly-owned subsidiary by Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan, in 1989.
In 1995, a partnership involving Isuzu Motors Limited, Mitsubishi Corporation, Ayala Corporation, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation resulted in the establishment of Isuzu Philippines Corporation.
Today, the company operates a manufacturing facility in Laguna Technopark in Binan, Laguna. It has 43 dealerships serving Filipinos nationwide. Famous Models For the Philippine market, Isuzu makes available several light commercial, commercial and public utility vehicles.
Locally available light commercial vehicles include the mu-X, D-MAX, and Crosswind.
The Isuzu mu-X is a seven-seater, midsize sports utility vehicle (SUV) that was launched in the Philippines in 2014. Under the hood, this model keeps a 3.0-liter, four-cylinder in-line Blue Power diesel engine equipped with Turbo Intercooler. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift, it can generate a maximum power reaching 174 horsepower at 3,550 to 3,650 revolutions per minute (rpm) and a peak torque of 380 Nm at 1,800 to 2,800 rpm. The D-MAX is a highly successful pickup truck from Isuzu. It has been well-received in many markets since its debut in 2002. This vehicle uses the same 3.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the mu-X. Prospective buyers have the option of a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic gearbox, as well as 4x2 and 4x4 drive modes. The Crosswind, which has been in production since 1991, is another SUV offering from the Japanese car maker. This model comes with a 2.5-liter direct diesel-injected turbocharged engine that can churn out 84 horsepower at 3,900 rpm and 185 peak torque at 2,000 rpm. It is paired with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
The company also has a long and decorated history in developing diesel engines. In 1936, it produced Japan's first air-cooled diesel engine, a game changer diesel engine development. This invention soon became a highly preferred engine for civilian and military vehicles. The following decades saw Isuzu further improving on its diesel engines. Today, Isuzu has a global production network for diesel engines.
Isuzu has also been producing industrial engines since 1952. Its industrial engines have been used in boats, forklifts, generators, construction machines, and even snow vehicles.
Additionally, the company has ventured into commercial vehicle telematics. Isuzu launched in 2004 the Mimamori-kun Online Service, which is Japan's first telematics system for trucks. The service has gone through enhancements in the following years, including the addition of Internet digital tachograph.