Partners Again: GM and Isuzu Will Develop a New Global Midsize

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GM and Isuzu have decided, once again, to join forces to develop another midsize global pickup for sale outside the U.S. and Canada.

The two companies, which have enjoyed a long history of partnership projects in the past — dating back to the 1970s — made the announcement last week. The announcement notes that each company will be responsible for manufacturing their own trucks once the development phase is complete.

Both GM and Isuzu have developed vehicles such as the previous Colorado/Canyon as well as the sibling Isuzu versions, the I-Series and D-Max midsize pickups. Collaborations like this always have been popular with GM as a way to share initial development costs and technologies.

According to Automotive News, specifics about the vehicles will not be announced for some time. Whether those details will have any impact on the two new midsize trucks GM just released to the U.S. and Canadian markets remains to be seen.

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Comments

Isuzu? They still in business, I guess not in the states.

Wouldn't current Colorado work for global market? I wonder why they won't sell it outside of US.

The US Colorado is toned down to as not encroatch on full size trucks here in the states.

The US Colorado is made more realistic to fit US crash standards, emissions, and DOT ratings. It is actually tougher but rated for less.

There is the Global Colorado but this truck will be designed to compete in slightly different markets and slightly different segments. It is unclear as to whether or not it will be a direct competitor to the global Colorado. It most likely will be like our 1/2 tons versus small trucks. There will be some market overlap.

I am glad to see GM continue their relationship with Isuzu even though this is a global and not NA truck. Isuzu has a lot to bring to the table including their diesel engines. The new Colorado is a vast improvement over the previous generation. It would be my choice of all the midsize trucks.

@Lou_BC,
I did a fair amount of research into this deal between Izuzu and GM.

What I found out is there appears to be two parts of it that Izuzu and GM will collaborate on.

The first one is the design of a pickup. The second one is small diesel engine use.

The new pickup (if it eventuates) comes down to economics. Over the past 15 years or so many developing nations are much wealthier. There is enough money in their economies to invest and purchase OECD standard vehicles.

These vehicles cost more. Countries like India and China are producing large quantities of cheap and cheerful pickups for the poorer nations. I do think Izuzu and GM want to tap into this market.

I bet the African and Sub Continent are the target markets for the new GM and Izuzu pickup.

As for the diesel engines. The EU, Australia and other nations outside of the US have different diesel standards to the US. Some will argue the severity of these standards in comparison to the US.

These standards are heavily reliant on CO2 emissions, which translates into FE. I did post some information regarding these engines in a previous article.

The US and EU will be harmonising their diesel standards along with the Japanese. This means the current crop of diesels need to be upgraded or replaced, this is across the globe.

The one area of concern is the reluctance of the US to improve it's diesel fuel to match the rest of the world. The lower cetane value and scar rate (abrasion) of US diesel makes it harder for global diesel to be used to their maximum capability in the US.

The lower quality diesel in the US also increases the cost of aftertreatment systems. The US diesel requires diesels to run at a higher compression which increases NOx emissions.

Currently the US is able to run diesel engines that don't meet EU standards because of their poor FE. These engines include the 3.2 Baby Powerstroke, the 2.8 Duramax and even the 3 ltire Izuzu diesel.

These engines don't produce enough power vs FE to make a satisfactory reduction in CO2.

I do think this is where GM and Izuzu will be working. Izuzu as an Asian manufacturer does tend to develop it's own technology and design it's own engines.

@Lou_BC,
It appears the US version of the Colorado will be going global.

I don't know if the chassis will come across, but the body design and interior will, with the new 2.5 Izuzu diesel.

This will be released around the same time as the US diesel Colorado.

From what I've read GM was short of cash when it designed the Colorado and the Colorado was more or less substandard.

This is well known in Australia that the Holden Colorado was substantially inferior to the Amarok, Ranger and BT50.

GM even stated they didn't have the money to invest to create a competitive pickup and sales of the Colorado has suffered in Australia as a consequence.

I do think the US Colorado was how GM intended the vehicle to be.

Suspension tunings and some chassis tweaking would be the only major difference between our Colorado and the US one.

It will interesting to see if the Duramax or the Izuzu diesel makes it into the US Colorado.

Just to clarify, the global truck that was announced recently is not destined for the U.S. or Canada. The customer requirements for the trucks are very different.

@Big Al from Oz
"Suspension tunings and some chassis tweaking would be the only major difference between our Colorado and the US one."
I Think it will be much more than that. As the U.S.Colorado was designed as an extremely light use "Lifestyle Vehicle" Using the more handsome US Bodies, the suspension and chassis's would be very different . In Asia, not uncommon for well over 3000lb to be carried in the tray on a regular basis

@Tom Wilkinson at Chevy - you are preaching to the choir. There are those who chose to close a blind eye to what occurs beyond CONUS (Continental USA). That is a huge mistake since we've seen global homogenization of most products.

@Dave,
US Crash Standards are on par with Australian ones, slight differences. European ones can be more stringent as regards anything remotely looking like a Commercial Vehicle

@Ron,
Correct, US Colorado's are not expected to carry 2,500-3000lb in the bed

@Hank
Isuzu is a very large Truck maker globally. The Isuzu DMax is produced by a separate Isuzu owned Company, roughly 500,000 to 600,000 vehicles produced per annum

@Big Al--I could see the exterior of the US Colorado being part of your global Colorado. Chevy really did a nice job on the front of the new Colorado. One of the nicest looking Chevy trucks in years.

I like the looks of the Isuzu D-Max as well

I bet the US versions are too expensive for global sales.

@Ken

Good point.

Successfully exporting something like these trucks from US factories, for global sales, would be entirely dependent on the fluctuations in the US dollar, which has gotten stronger in recent weeks vs other global currencies.

Which makes the exported item effectively more expensive for someone trying to buy it with pesos, euros, rupees, etc. The dollar has been quite soft dating back to about 2003, so the chance of it getting any cheaper are nil.

Also, from a product standpoint, I don't see anything in these Isuzu trucks that isn't already available from other vendors. Between the weakness of the product and the instability of the dollar, this partnership is a loser.

@Ken and @papa jim,
No they would not be expensive aS FCA exports Jeeps from the U.S. with the appropriate Euro V requirement diesel.

The problem these are "Lifestyle Vehicles" an they will not have 2500-3000lb payloads with 8000lb towing , they need to be totally re-engineered.

The "midsizers" here have no problems doing this. A 1/2 ton would have a problem. Different expectations for Global Pickups
http://images.tradingpost.com.au/TBBKYTJ2/CU331/KDRDL2-Resized320x240.jpg

@BAFO - What happens in Asia stays in Asia... There is no USDOT equivalent in Asia. We're talking little trucks with little brakes, little axles, little bearings, little ball-joints, U-joints etc, etc, etc. Even if the small truck's suspension doesn't bottom out with 3,000+ lbs, it doesn't mean it's safe to drive around with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I am not "BAFO" what happens in Asia, also happens every elsewhere,
If the manufacturer you represent does not have a Pickup in this segment, so be it.
Trolling about your manufacturers poor choice, is not going to remedy it.

@Robert Ryan--DM is drawing for straws. Ford does have a global truck the Ranger and chooses not to introduce that truck to North America because it would compete against the F-150. We all understand that is Ford's choice but Ford's choice is Ford's and does not work for everyone else. DM is coming from the stand that one size fits all and if you don't like it then tough, "take it or leave it". Not a good way of doing business. Denver Mike would have been better off going back in time to the 50's when America had that attitude that the rest of the World didn't matter and there basically was the US versus the rest of the World who doesn't know anything because the US is better than anyone else and doesn't need to learn anything. In today's global economy every nation is dependent on the other. The US is not the only nation that has all the answers. What happens is Asia effects all of us. Maybe Denver Mike needs to study geography because he obviously doesn't know that China is part of Asia and that China is the new World power. China also holds a good part of the US debt. They must have stopped teach History, Geography, and a few other vital courses in school that DM's generation doesn't know what countries are part of the Asia. He probably hasn't heard of the Vietnam War which was fought in Vietnam which is a country in Southeast Asia where inexpensive textiles and furniture are made and exported around the World.

Papa Jim seems to think that a venture between GM and Isuzu is not good for GM. If anything GM benefits more from Isuzu than Isuzu benefits from GM. Maybe Papa Jim doesn't realize all those midsize cabover commercial trucks driving around with Chevy and GMC emblems are the same as the ones driving around with the Isuzu name (the Chevy and GMC are made by Isuzu) Isuzu is noted for their trucks and their efficient long lasting diesel motors. The Duramax diesel was a Isuzu and GM joint venture that definitely benefited GM. In today's World there are cooperative joint ventures between companies because the development of new products and technology has become a lot more expensive. Ford and GM have a joint venture to develop a new automatic transmission to be shared between them. Neither Ford or GM is going to enter into a joint venture if they do not benefit. Globalization is a fact that many in the US are afraid of but have to face.

@Robert Ryan - OK, you said it:

"In Asia, not uncommon for well over 3,000lb to be carried the tray..."

But the question still remains. Who or what's governing what or how much weight trucks can carry in Asia, for the safety of the public? Or in China? Or anywhere far away from SAE standards?

What about transporting hazardous materials? Does anyone in Asia really care? So should they (officials) care about overloaded trucks? With payload/tow ratings set by the OEM alone? With no regard for safety?


@papa jim,
To export US pickups the US first must produce a pickup that is exportable to the masses.

A vehicle the size of an average US half ton would require a payload of at least 5 000lbs and can achieve 25mpg or it will not be sold in large enough quantities.

The US Colorado/Canyon would only be exportable to a few countries as toys and not work horses. Also, how expensive would the Colorado or Canyon be with a 25% import tariff if sold to a country outside of NAFTA?

For this to occur then the US must accept imports. This isn't going to occur in the too near future.

It's not the cost of the US pickups that inhibit their export potential, but what they can achieve or their productivity and the taxes that other countries would place on them to counter the US'es 25% chicken tax.

The US could of had a massive pickup export market if it started playing the game 5 decades ago. But, it went it alone and imposed barriers on imported pickups.

@BAFO - A US 1/2 ton pickup would have over 5,000 payload in countries outside of SAE influence.

But you asked how expensive the Colorado/Canyon would be if built outside of NAFTA countries? How expensive is the Tacoma? It's built in Japan as CKD kits assembled in San Antonio and Tijuana.

CKDs aren't a big deal. OEMs have been doing them for decades. Like the '67 Chevy Impala "made" in Europe.

@papa jim

"Also, from a product standpoint, I don't see anything in these Isuzu trucks that isn't already available from other vendors. Between the weakness of the product and the instability of the dollar, this partnership is a loser."

Of course you don't, you don't see anything about these trucks because they dont exist yet. How would you know what is going to be available in these trucks at this point? It seems like a solid plan to me develop a truck to replace current gen of global trucks between them for half the development cost. This isn't their first rodeo together.

"How expensive is the Tacoma? It's built in Japan as CKD kits assembled in San Antonio and Tijuana."

You really make it up as you go. I wonder which manufacturer.allied with the UAW is behind this?

Difference is we have choices here not available anywhere else. Nobody here in there right mind would put 3000 lbs on a midsize truck, we have 3/4 and 1 ton trucks for that. They do it overseas because that's what they have available.

@Tom,
Nothing to with it and yes you can get any vehicle that can take ANY load you want, We are not restricted. You are in the US

Really, how many full size trucks do you have on the road? If midsize trucks here were rated for payloads of 3000 lbs, how many more would sell, and why? Like I said, you drive mid size because that's basically all that's available. I can buy a midsize here, but like the vast majority, don't want to. The real reason most vehicles there are diesel is because of the high fuel prices. With the Au dollar falling it will get worse. Sorry for the rant, just tired of you 2 telling us we don't have what you do. BTW, when was the last time anyone here bought anything that said made in australia besides bad beer?

@RobertRyan, BAFO - The market decides the price, regardless of what it costs an OEM to ship it here as a CKD or built from scratch in a NAFTA location. But did you really think the Colorado/Canyon are US built from scratch???

The Colorado/Canyon are likely Thia built CKDs and completed in the US. You didn't notice they're "built" or piggyback on a GM van assembly line? Or that the Tacoma is "built" on a Tundra assembly line? Or a tiny "factory" in Tijuana? Formerly in Fremont California? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but do you honestly think OEMs are obligated to tell you where most of their car parts and sub assemblies come from?

@Big Al & Robert Ryan--Aren't the US Colorado/Canyon basically based off the global Colorado which was designed by the GM/Isuzu joint venture? True that we are not getting a D-Max in the US but as a result of the GM/Isuzu venture we now have a new Colorado/Canyon.

@The Editor in Chief,
If you are going to remove my comments, then maybe you should look at why those comments are made.

You just can't remove a comment when a person is trolling and looking for a response.

If you are going to be a moderator, then moderate with fairness.

I have seen many comments posted that are far less offensive than mine remain.

Isn't the Cruze assembled from South Korean kits? If the kits keep the price of manufacturing down enough to where it is profitable for GM to offer a midsize truck that they might not otherwise offer then I am ok with the kits. Also the kits will at least bring an assembly plant to the US that would't otherwise be here. Most home builders make their framed walls in factories and then assemble them on the job site which can include the Tyvec wrap and the windows. Usually the quality control is much better on pre-made components and kits. This is just another part of today's World which is not the same as the past. We all have to adjust to change.

@Jeff S,
The current Colorado/Dmax is a joint venture between GM and Izuzu. It seems the current US version is the completion of the original project. GM ran out of cash and the global was made on a tight budget.

The Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50 is another joint venture. It seems to be the way of the future.

I read an article as to why these joint ventures are becoming more common place rather than the older badge swapping that used to go on.

Apart from the original design cost being shared, the cost of the manufacturing is also shared. One manufacturer can sell many more which reduces the overheads of the other manufacturers product.

That's why I do think its odd that pickup sales are broken down by the company that sells them, ie, GMC, Chev or even in Australia GMH and Izuzu or Ford and Mazda.

If the sales numbers are combines you will see which is the most successful platform and not just look at the company selling the pickups.

Maybe pickup sale breakdowns could be better shown. I do think the figures are ambiguous and don't really paint a good picture.

I mean HD number with 1/2 ton numbers? I do think a midsizer is closer to a full size than HDs are.

The US has a class system for vehicles, so why not break down the sales into those classes and not the manufacturers' identification conventions.

@Big Al--Actually that is a good idea to share not only designing a vehicle but the production as well. If that is what it takes to bring a competitive midsize truck to the market then I am for it. Spread the cost over more units over a period of time and produce and market a vehicle in other markets before bringing it to the US. Time to work out some of the bugs and provide feedback to make a better product. This reminds me of what the Japanese manufacturers have done in the past.

@Alberta_85

It's really pretty simple. The market for midsize pickups is hardly dynamic at this point, and has not been competitive at all in North America for at least 10 years.

The last joint venture that GM/Isuzu did with compact trucks was a bloody disaster that took almost 10 years to get a truck from the drawing board onto the floor of dealer showrooms. That model had a total of ONE good season; once Nissan and Toyota brought out their updates to the Frontier and the Tacoma the GM/Isuzu models were DOA.

For example, can you name a single major component from the previous generation Colorado/Canyon/Isuzu midsize that's still in production?

Their exclusive engine/trans package is dead. The Atlas engine took years to bring to life and was all but DOA once the Asian makers brought their trucks out with their then-new 4.0 liter V6 engines.

The Colorado share a lot of its underpinnings with the GM family of Trailblazers, Encores, Ascenders, Saabs, Olds, Buick etc.

All very dead. Except on used car dealer lots where they can't give them away.

I go into detail on this because the partnership has had a very speckled past in the truck/SUV market.

The GM/Saab story is a perfect illustration. When GM bought Saab the US dollar was very strong and allowed Saab to be acquired for a song. Great engineering, popular products, a great opening to the Euro market--what could go wrong? A crashing dollar.

Between 1999 and 2008 Americans consumers were being hammered by a weak dollar in a reasonably strong economy. Low unemployment, solid car and home sales--what's not to like. Yet, Detroit had to incentivize the crap out of products to stay in the game.

The unstable US dollar is a huge culprit in these affairs. Don't doubt me.

Ahhhhhhhh..........papa jim,
What came of the Swedish and US alliance with GM and Saab?

You tell only part of the story. There is something that is of much value to GM. This is called technology transfer.

Believe it or not the engine sitting in this Colorado was designed and developed where?

The turbo SIDI engine sitting in the SAAB was developed where?

Does GM now have a turbo V6?

Hmm.......you seem to only look at the here and now and past without looking to the future. This is evident by your commentary.

It's hard growing old, isn't it papa jim?

Look ahead old man.

If these little suv's with a bed can carry 3k pounds, well, there is a difference between holding it, and handling like crap, and being able to hold it just fine, and do it the life of the vehicle.

Reminds me of the pictures of somebody in a third world country with a crapload of weight on it, going 10 mph down a road like that, and saying that it can handle the weight.

Funny the two biggest people pro to such a so called rating, have very little choice.

The tests for those down under folks are nothing like here, either. They are just happy if it goes down the road.

Meanwhile, we are far more realistic in the states.

What came of the Swedish and US alliance with GM and Saab?

@big al

Bankruptcy?

Stockholders getting cleaned out. Bondholders getting totally screwed. Employees here and in Europe laid off -and plants closed-by the thousands.

Was that what you meant? Not sure I understand your point.



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