GM and Isuzu to Work Together Again

GM Isuzu Medium Duty

As final preparations are being made to introduce the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon in the U.S. next year — vehicles originally designed through a joint-partnership between Isuzu Motors Limited and GM — both Isuzu and GM have now entered into another "memorandum of understanding" to discuss another pickup truck product. 

According to Automotive News and a brief statement released by Isuzu, both automakers have decided to work together again to develop and produce another hard-working pickup product. Exact details about what type of vehicle or what markets the eventual product would be sold in have yet to be determined and announced. All we know at this point is that they've agreed to start discussing the possibility. 

What type of vehicle is anyone's guess, but with Isuzu's success with larger cab-forward commercial vehicles and the hole GM has in the growing Class 4 and 5 commercial-duty segments since they walked away from medium-dutys several years ago (the Chevy Kodiak with a Monroe conversion is pictured above).

Both Ford and Ram Truck are filling that segment nicely and we'd guess there's a good shot that the new GM/Isuzu pickup could fill that void for GM and provide a good entry point for Isuzu to further expand in the commercial-truck arena. Partnering in the emerging medium-duty truck segment could be a smart way of defraying some of the risk and cost for both manufacturers. 

The relationship between the two companies goes all the way back to 1971, with several successes like the Duramax turbodiesel engines under their belts; however, both parties decided to dissolve their financial ties in 2006. Beyond this co-development project, there is no word on whether either is interested in further corporate investments. 



So where would GM be with out Isuzu? They got the duramax with the help of Isuzu. Now maybe they will get trucks that are worth a dam.
If they get another medium duty truck (which they used to have) the GM guys will stop whining that FORD/DODGE are cheating in over all truck sales because they have 4500/5500 series trucks.

I feel the interest for GM with this partnership would be for class 6,7, and 8 class trucks. There will be a class 4 and 5 truck from GM within the next couple years because Ford and Dodge 4500 and 5500 trucks are just glorified one tons with the same engines and transmissions. Check out GM stock, investors are seeing the leaps and bounds GM is making in making some of the best cars and trucks offered around the world. Their debt is one tenth of what Ford has right now.


Let's not forget GM got bailed out!

So do not even bring up GM's debt when they got a welfare check because they went bankrupt and CHEATED their way from honest business practices!

If GM would have went through federal bankruptcy courts like the LAW states...

ram is not american because of fiat?

ram's towing numbers are too high?


I think where GM failed in the last Kodiak/Topkick trucks is that they based the cab structure off the Express/Savana fullsize vans. Prior to that, they used the cab from the C/K series trucks so I don't see why they didn't use the cab of the current Silverado.

Ford is the best!

General Motors is the best!

Chrysler is the best!

Toyota is the best!

Nissan is the best!

why doesn't GM just buy Izuzu out, I mean they use them alot so why not just buy them out, it would certainly save them money.

Hope it is not the hideous design of the topkick/kodiak and they use a sfa where needed instead of sissy torsen bars.

I-Force, U-Force, we all Force a lousy 1/2 ton to pull a space shuttle! "MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU" "TO INFINITY, AND BEYOND!"

I'm going to spend at week at I-Force HQ, whoa-hoooooo!

Hemi sucks,
You should review the history of diesel engines. GM made its own diesels more than 30 years before ford. 5.7, 6.2, and 6.5. Not the best diesels, but they were GMs. The Duramax was a joint venture meaning both parties contributed. The Duramax is made in Ohio in a GM facility it is a GM motor. Chrysler has never built there own diesel and those 2500/3500s are made in Mexico. Ford used internationals then navistars and have only made their own diesel for 3 years with severe quality issues. Know what you are talking about before you spew BS.

LOL. A Ram guy crying because GM is useing Isuzu, meanwhile where the heck would Ram be without Cummins. Of couse companies get together and build trucks, Ford and International, Ram and Cummins, GM and Isuzu. Get a grip fanboys.

Who c an ever forget the Chevy LUV ?

It was a great little truck, very durable.

That is what the market needs now, a

truck that size.

The duramax block is from Ohio. The crankshaft, connecting rods and head are from Japan. Everything is machined and assembled and the engine is dyno tested in Ohio.

So Ram takes max towing...Ford and Chevy cry over it....then Chevy has to make class 5 and 6 trucks just to outtow Rams class class 3 truck....that is funny....GJ Ram

@DODGEGUY I think the only thing holding GM is the current allison tranmission is at it limit. Allison is building a bigger strong new tranmission for light/medium duty trans called the Allison 1350.

The Duramax is getting old, they could pump more power out of it but it won't be as efficient. Fords updated/made few new diesel motors since 2001. Ram went from a 5.9L to 6.7L in 2007. The GM frame could probably handle the Ram towing numbers. The current Duramax could probably get closer to the Ram Towing number, but the true big main thing holding GM right now is the current Allison.

Re-read what i wrote,
"They got the duramax with the help of Isuzu"
Now re-read what you wrote.
"The Duramax was a joint venture meaning both parties contributed"

Uhhh you re-wrote what I said then called my comment BS?

So because of this why do I need to review my diesel history?

Everything else you wrote has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Unless you have anything interesting to say, please, just stay quiet.


@johnny doe - good points. Both the Duramax and Allison transmission are at the end of their development cycles. Newer and better designs will come. It is rare that I ever hear anyone complain about a GMC drivetrain.
One can bring up the Oldsmobile block diesels of several decades ago but everyone has churned out crap at one time or another.
GMC used to own Allison and Detroit diesel. It has never made sense to me that they sold off profitable companies and kept some duds on the books.
GMC's new HD chassis and "end of life" engine/trans did prove to be better than Ford and Ram's offerings in the last few shootouts. (I'll deny saying that if Bob crawls out of the woodwork to gloat. LOL) The only thing that has held back GMC are the bodies and interiors.
Ram has updated their chassis and drivetrain and Ford's SD's are grossly outdated when it comes to chassis.
It would be funny to see GMC come out with a limited run truck like the TopKick above just to claim tow/haul superiority over Ram.
Why not?
I'd rather see a commercial grade truck pretending to be a pickup as opposed to a pickup trying to be a commercial truck.

@Lou I agree about a pickup trying to be a commercial grade truck. I think they should of made the Ram 5500 long haul tow king just like Ford made the F450 there tow king (now retired due to Ram 3500). But I think it's dumb that Ram has had the 3500 out towing the the Ram 5500 for years now.. Yes ram 5500 has better frame and is made to hull but it should also be able to tow. 2011 the Ram 3500 could tow 22,750lbs...Ram 5500 towing was 19,500lbs Ram 5500 didn't get the H.O Cummins till 2012, and when it did it still was behind the Ram 3500 by about 400lbs... Hell I say Ram make a 6500 and put the 8.3L Cummins Turbo Diesel in it. 400+Hp and 1200+ torque...that would be great

Whatever it is will be at least 3 years down the road and possibly insignificant. I doubt it's a half ton diesel.

@Josh They had a stake in Iz awhile back but choose to kill oldsmoblie and then bailed on the stake.

Speaking of Oldsmoblie, Chevy &GMC Gm's problem is an unessary hirachy of GMC and Chevy trucks rebaged in the same market. In my view the ram and f-150 brands are stronger than chevy because chevy looks weaker/cheaper than GMC. I really wish GM Kept Oldsmobile as the car lineup like honda or huyndai's range with GMC trucks to replace chevy. The whole chevy range is marred as a cheap brand and their current products are below other mainstream brands. More people would perfer an oldsmoblie/gmc combo over chevy when up against the mainstream. There's no need for two pickup brands when you can have one stronger brand. That alone will be why GM will never be first in the truck race. Ford and Fiat's tense focus on building their f and ram truck lines is why they deserve growth and dominance.

If you own a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee it might be worth reading this. Safety.

Where would RAM be without Cummins? They wouldn't sell hardly any HD trucks if they didn't have the Cummins engine in them. A RAM truck with a Cummins engine is like a diamond in a goat's a$$.

anyway gm have the best diesel on the like or not..

@HEMI V8 GEN III --Seems like reading the history of the US we were built by immigrants. Unless you are 100% Native American you and most of us are descendent from immigrants. What is wrong with Louis Chevrolet coming to this country and creating a brand that lives on and that has created jobs over a century. You sound like one of these extremist right wing nut jobs. As for partnerships with Japanese, Chrysler owned part of Mitsubishi and imported cars and trucks made by Mitsubishi. Again you sound like a nut job. I guess we should not allow Fiat 500s into the US because they are an Italian product made in Mexico. As for cheap ass Asian labor all the manufacturers import Asian products. The very computer you are typing this garbage on is probably made in China along with the cell phone that you use for texting ignorant messages. We live in a World that is linked by international trade and commerce, most everything we buy is made somewhere else.

A partnership between Isuzu and GM is good news. Isuzu has some great diesel engines. Isuzu also has a history of making some rugged and reliable trucks and has a lengthy history with 4 wheel drives. This is a smart move for GM.

Wayne- the 6.2 and 6.5 diesels at least, were built for GM by Detroit Diesel. The 6.2 was exactly what it was meant to be- a diesel option to do the work of a small-block. It did that, and it was cheap. Eventually, GM wanted a little more power, so the 6.2 V8 begat the 6.5TD. It also did the job of a small-block and was still relatively cheap. People also cry about the longevity of these engines, but with the same care, they lasted just as long as their gasoline counterparts. Remember, if you worked a gas engine hard back then, you could expect to do some internal maintenance not too long after 100k.
If GM had wanted a more powerful motor, Detroit could have supplied them the 8.2 liter V8 diesel. That one, btw, was rather short lived, since they couldn't keep head gaskets on the open-deck engine blocks. A few were built using a closed deck and worked great, but by that time, management decided to cut their losses.
I could see several cool products out of a new GM-Isuzu partnership:
A new C4/5500 built on an N-series chassis topped with a GM pick-up cab. That could even deliver a SFA 4x4 version to those who absolutely want one.
An N-series cab-over built on a GM 1-ton chassis. It would have IFS ride/height/handling benefits, even as a 4wd.
A HD van, to compete in the segment with the Iveco Daily and MB Vario.
A global replacement for both the GMT610 van and the Movano currently supplied by Renault.

Well, it's clear to see why the Kodiak failed--nothing but a big-rig wannabe. It looks like an OTR tractor with a pickup's cab and bed on it. Hideous!

I'd be far happier knowing the two were making a light-duty truck that actually fits in a parking spot. Even my 1990 F-150 standard cab/long bed only barely fits where I park, its bumpers just at the edge of the sidewalk and curb. The bed alone is almost as long as some of my neighbors' daily driver car. Most of you already know what I'd prefer.

Isuzu made the Trooper, may I say more?

I think a new Isuzu based MDT to replace the now departed Kodiak. This has left a large hole in GM's lineup.

"An N-series cab-over built on a GM 1-ton chassis."

I think Isuzu will stick with its own chassis.

@DWFields - as mentioned in the article, there is not any clear evidence as to what this "partnership" will entail. GMC is in need of a next gen Duramax and a credible product for MDT's.
I find it highly unlikely that GMC is partnering to build more pickups. The Colorado is coming, and we already have seen GM's 1/2 ton next gen offerings. Other than an engine collaboration, Isuzu will have little to offer in relation to conventional pickups. That does open the can of worms related to "unconventional" pickups. I doubt that GMC would water their truck line further by offering a 3rd small truck (Colorado/Canyon counted as 2). Perhaps they might just build you a rebadged Isuzu for those who think the Colorado/Canyon trucks are too big. I doubt it. Bigger is better ;)

@Lou and @DWFields
"General Motors and Isuzu are considering developing an all-new ute together, the Detroit-based automaker has confirmed.

Reuters reports the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter negotiations over the potential next-generation pick-up, although neither have revealed a timeline or other details of the agreement.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper believes the partnership will be formalised later this month following a meeting between GM CEO Dan Akerson and Isuzu president Susumu Hosoi"

Nissan & Toyota are not in the HD Pickup Truck mix & never will be! Just look at the less than stellar 1/2 ton sales as compared to the US offerings! Dismal to say the least!

@Rich--Isuzu made the Trooper, may I say more?

Is this a positive or negative statement? From those that I know that have owned Troopers they were very satisfied as were owners of Rodeos, and Isuzu pickups. I own an Isuzu pickup and I am very happy with it. An Isuzu diesel would be an excellent choice for GM full size half tons and midsizes.

Jeff S

My point made. People talk about chrysler but will not talk about chevrolet being unamerican. for all of the people that don't like 30,000 pounds towing capacity or think chrysler is unamerican because of fiat, look at chevrolet first. then come back and talk to me about chrysler. in fact gm used to have a stake in fiat and chevrolet used to race fiats, Louis Chevrolet that is.

i think eventually anything over a 2500 will merge into one truck because they are all expensive and eventually you will have to have a cdl for anything over a 2500 so why have a 4500 and up?

@Hemi V8 Gen III --There will always be those that carry on about Fiat Chrysler but looking at the big picture Fiat resurrected a dying company and pumped new life into it. This is a significant accomplishment which deserves praise. It is a feel good story just like when Lee Iaccoca got the Government loan and rebuilt Chrysler and paid the loan back early in full. I remember my mother buying a new 84 5th Avenue and she hadn't owned a Chrysler for over 20 years. A lot of others bought Chrysler products as well in the 80s. I feel that GM teaming up with Isuzu, which they have done before is a step in the right direction. GMs new models are vastly better than the out going models. The Buick LaCross and Cruze are vastly better than the models they replaced. As for Chrysler, the new Dart is a vastly better compact than they have had and the Ram trucks are much more refined and just a better product. I was a skeptic about the Fiat Chrysler merger in the begining but I am no longer a skeptic.

@Lou --That would be great if they built a rebadged Isuzu pickup for GM smaller than the Colorado but I agree with you I doubt it to. A small basic truck priced low would make a good suburban weekend hauler for hauling scoops of mulch, picking up gardening items, picking up furniture, and hauling off junk. That is what I use my 99 S-10 for as well as a park and ride vehicle. I agree it probably will not happen unless the Chinese make one in the US.

@wayne, "Chrysler has never built there own diesel" Take your own advise. "Know what you are talking about before you spew BS". READ THIS.
Dodge also made their first diesel truck, using their own diesel engines. Only two automakers made their own diesel engines for their trucks before World War II: Mack in 1938 and Dodge in 1939.

Original is at History of the Dodge Pickup Trucks, 1921-1953
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Cummins has built more than 1.7 million 5.9L and 6.7L engines since 1989. Beginning in 1992, production of the 5.9L shifted to Cummins' Midrange Engine Plant (CMEP) in Columbus, Indiana, and this is where the 6.7L engines currently go together. The CMEP is a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly plant that builds engines exclusively for Ram trucks. To get an idea of how the benchmark of all diesel truck engines is built, we stopped by the plant and watched the complete 6.7L engine assembly process unfold.

Read more:

1978 DODGE 150,250, POWER WAGON MITSUBISHI DIESEL! DODGE OWNED MITSUBISHI. DODGE WAS ALSO THE FIRST TO OFFER A TURBO DIESEL. When the fuel crisis hit, Dodge was not prepared, and it took some time to fit pickups with a Mitsubishi diesel; that rare model appeared around 1978, the same year the D-150 and D-250 were introduced. The diesel engine used in 1978 (and possibly later) D150s, D250s, and Power Wagons was the Mitsubishi 6DR5, 3950 cc (243 cubic inches), with 105 hp at 3500 rpm; it was reportedly virtually identical to the Land Cruiser diesel engine of the time. This factory option (VIN code H) was a straight-six and came without a badly needed turbocharger, providing good mileage (reportedly over 20 mpg) but limiting top speeds. These engines do not appear to be listed in the Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks but are in the 1978 Dodge truck brochure.

Original is at Dodge Pickups and A-Series Dodge Trucks, 1961-1979
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Since the new GM/Izuzu platform pickup has just come out (Colorado/Dmax).

GMC/Chev is coming out with their new pickup.

I find this interesting, how long is a model cycle?

Izuzu make MDTs and HDTs that aren't in the US like the Gigamax.

If Izuzu make a move in this area, then I would suspect UD will try and get a foothold as well.

Robert Ryan's post with the forward control Freightliner made in the US is interesting also.

I wonder if a move is taking place to introduce MDTs and HDTs into the US?

Uh, Dodge never owned Mitsubishi.

Chrysler never owned Mitsubishi. In the '70's Mitsubishi sold Chrysler 15%. Chrysler subsequently sold those shares. Daimler/Benz did buy 34% of Mitsubishi in the '90's but also sold off those shares.
Daimler/Benz owned Chrysler and 34% of Mitsubishi.
Can one take that to mean Chrysler owned Mitsubishi?
Daimler/Benz called the shots not Chrysler.
They (Mitsubishi/Chrysler) continued to sell each other engines, transmissions and other components.

@Hemi V8--Thanks for the link to the history of Dodge trucks. My granddad, who was a farmer had a dark green 53 Dodge half ton pickup, a 53 dark green Dodge stake bed, and a black 58 Dodge step side. He also had a couple of Dodge cars over the years which I know of such as a red 46 Dodge, a 51 or 52 Dodge, a pink and grey 56 Dodge Cornet with a white top and push button drive, and a 60 grey Dodge Polaris with push button drive. My parents had a 2 door light green 51 2 door Dodge and my father's first car that he bought when he was in college was a tan 33 Dodge coupe with a rumble seat which he bought off a mechanic for $150 in the late 30s and that was the car he had when he met my mother and had when they first got married. My older brother's first car when he got married was a new 2 door light green 63 Dart with a slant 6 and 3 on the tree which he drove for years until the body rotted from rust. My older brother also bought a used 64 4 door Dodge Polaris with a 440, the last year of push button drive. That 64 Dodge was one hot car and that 440 was a great engine.

@Lou & @Dav--Chrysler owned 15% of Mitsubishi Motors as Lou stated and imported Mitsubishi cars and trucks from the early 70s to about the early 90s rebadged as Dodges, Plymouths, and Eagles. The Dodge D-50 was rebadged from a Mitsubishi truck from the 70s thru the late 80s until Dodge came out with the Dakota. Back in the 70s and most of the 80s none of the non Japanese auto companies were allowed to own controlling interest in Japanese auto and truck manufactures which changed sometime in the late 80s or in the 90s because Ford bought majority shares in Mazda, even installing their own US executive to run Mazda, and GM bought majority interest in Isuzu. Of course GM now does not have any ownership in Isuzu and as for Ford owning Mazda I am not sure about that but if you know then you can post that.

My 85 Mitsubishi Mighty Max was the identical truck to the Dodge D-50. For a while I would get parts for my Max at the Dodge dealer. Same truck same parts.

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