GM, Isuzu Dissolve Midsize Pickup Partnership

Gmc_canyon_manu_07_01-1024 II

The long-standing midsize pickup truck relationship between GM and Isuzu Motor Co., reaching back to the early 2000s, has now been shut down.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), GM and Isuzu will no longer produce or develop products together for Asian markets. Responsible for both a Chevrolet Colorado and Trailblazer sold in Southeast Asia and Australia, Isuzu has already announced a new partnership with Mazda to develop and produce a next-generation midsize global pickup for markets outside North America.

For those who remember, GM, GM Brazil and Isuzu developed the previous-gen Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon with mixed results. In the years during its production run from 2004 to 2012, the U.S. economy struggled and final-year sales totaled less than 40,000 for the Colorado and less than 10,000 for the Canyon. The GMT 355 platform (which was also offered for the Hummer H3T) had a reputation for delivering a harsh ride, limited towing and hauling abilities, and housing inefficient inline four- and five-cylinder engines.

Outside the global midsize truck segment, GM and Isuzu will continue to develop and work together in the commercial segment, where GM has already been offering Chevy-badged cab-forward work trucks. And we expect more offerings to come from this partnership as GM has been vocal about growing its presence in the Class 4, 5 and 6 commercial segments.

Manufacturer images


2005 Colorado copy II



Isuzu created the S-10 for them back in the early 1980's because GM was incapable to produce their own small pickup on their own to compete against Toyota and Nissan.

Duramax also came from Isuzu, wow, they are just going to throw it all the way!

Reminds me of how GM dumped the joint venture with Toyota at NUMMI all of a sudden and then turned around and blamed Toyota for shutting it down! It was a partnership and when one leaves it becomes economically not feasible to continue on with just one company!

GM is not a very reliable partner, they do not stick to commitments very well, hence why I do not buy their products!

Just read where Fiat is recalling over 320,000 rams, jeeps and 200's for a bad wiring harness. The hits just keep on coming for fiat.


Its a matter of time before they file for bankruptcy. Its a tradition for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram.

#1 reason I won't buy a Fiat-Chrysler is not the product. It is the crappy company, dealership and service departments.

They have no clue and don't care about you after the sale!

Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.1 million vehicles worldwide because of a software problem that could cause some vehicles to roll away after drivers exit. The issue has been linked to 41 injuries, 212 crashes, and 308 reports of property damage.

The automaker said in June it would speed up a repair to the software in the recalled vehicles. The upgraded software includes an “Auto Park” feature designed to prevent drivers from failing to place the transmission into park before exiting the vehicle. FCA had previously said the fix to the software wouldn’t be ready until the fourth quarter.

Fiat doeesn't have the money to provide good service after the sale and nice dealerships.

Fiat is the bottom feeder of auto makers.

They also have poor crash ratings. A Fiat truck is just not worth it.

Toyota should buy out Fiat-Ram.

Edmunds did a review of the 2004 Colorado and never revisited it. They upgraded the motor and transmission in 2008. The article said poor gas mileage. My 2011 Canyon 4x4 was rated 23 highway and even though I raised it up and put 33 inch tires on it I still get 23mpg on the highway. No other truck was getting 23mpg at that time, as my piece of junk Tacoma was rated 21mpg and less towing capability. I had planned on getting a 2015 Canyon when they came out but the gas mileage and capability was not any better then what I already have(unless you buy the stinking diesel)

Back in 2011 when I bought mine, the local dealers could not keep them in stock as the factory had cut back on building them an they were selling everyone they could get.

The Old Colorado/Canyons met the same fate as the Ranger. No R&D after the initial build

GM is heavily in bed with China these days at over 50% of GM's market cap and there may be no getting out of it. China was "influential" during the Obama bailout. Translation? China owns a good chunk of GM.

I should add, obviously the Isuzu/GM relationship was unofficially over when GM redesigned the new Canyon/Colorado a while back. I'd say it's no big deal and has no impact on the Duramax engine.

Oh well, not worried too much about global trucks. I sure am enjoying my 2016 Canyon Duramax diesel, 32 mpg average, and runs cleaner than a gas with no diesel smell at all. Great for a crew cab long box 4x4.

no big loss..neither one are much good anyway

I knew last week when It was announced that Mazda had partnered with Isuzu and ditched Ford (not mentioned by PUTC ) that Isuzu would ditch GM. I feel sure GM and Ford both will probably say this was their idea but I would find it hard to believe at this point.
This could be good for the US consumer in the long run if Mazda/Isuzu develop a new midsize truck platform and bring these to the US. We need 3 or 4 midsize trucks made by auto makers that do not build full size trucks and control the midsize market in the US

Sean glad you enjoy your truck

" I sure am enjoying my 2016 Canyon Duramax diesel, 32 mpg average, and runs cleaner than a gas with no diesel smell at all. Great for a crew cab long box 4x4."

I need an extended cab with 6 foot bed, so the diesel is out for me. Friend of mine bought the diesel, we took it up to Canada bear hunting, I smelled the diesel anytime I was outside of the truck while it was idling. I do not want that smell in my garage

Wait until the new Ford ranger comes out.

Interesting how mark bashes 1st gen Colorado! Inefficient engines??? I've have had Dakotas, Rangers, s10, Tacoma, and 1st gen Colorado. And for some reason it's the most efficient out of the bunch!

"Responsible for both a Chevrolet Colorado and Trailblazer sold in Southeast Asia and Australia,"

No , the Trailblazer is not sold in Australia and they are not Chevrolet Colorado's. Isuzu body is used.

"GM and Isuzu will continue to develop and work together in the commercial segment, where GM has already been offering Chevy-badged cab-forward work truck"

Not much development on GM's part as these are basically rebadged Isuzu light trucks, with a GM Gas engine thrown in

Robert Ryan
What is the difference between a Colorado 7 and a Trail Blazer?
How is this Isuzu/Mazda partnership going to effect GM/Ford in the overseas truck market?

Since it hasn't mattered in the last decade I guess this is more administrivia than news.

Isuzu and Mazda looking to partner on pickups?

Two bulls in the same pasture if you ask me. Neither brings a competitive advantage to the other. I doubt that Mazda dealers are really looking for an outlet to sell mid-size trucks.

Isuzu is a mid pack performer at best in the global scene, apart from their diesels.

Isuzu/Mazda? Hard to fathom that one.

"I should add, obviously the Isuzu/GM relationship was unofficially over when GM redesigned the new Canyon/Colorado a while back. I'd say it's no big deal and has no impact on the Duramax engine."

That relationship was over back in 2009 when the Japanese ministry tried to force GM into buying out Isuzu outright and GM refused. Isuzu had been in trouble since 1991 when it decided to stop building passenger cars and concentrate on trucks and SUVs, which is what FCA's Sergio Marchionne is suggesting to do to Chrysler: phase out its passenger cars and build more Jeeps and Ram trucks, Chrysler minivans, and Dodge SUV's. Isuzu sold parts of itself to Toyota and Mitsubishi, but both companies took advantage of Isuzu's diesel technology and gave it nothing in return.

Ironically the Chinese, who copied Isuzu blueprints to make its own products (looking at you, Great Wall), refused to help.

So, Isuzu planned to exit the light truck market around 2013, when GM offered to give them a hand and provide assistance for a new Rodeo/D-Max/KB pickup and MU-7 SUV. So, it seems apparent that Isuzu is stable enough to do without GM's help.

But that new partnership with Mazda is puzzling. Mazda hasn't developed its own truck in years, and Isuzu supplies Mazda with commercial trucks in Japan. So with Ford ending BT-50 production in 2018, I want to know what Isuzu and Mazda are going to do. Perhaps they are purchasing the soon-to-become ancient Colorado technology from GM to build their trucks.

@Jake D
Long winded answer from Wikipedia:
Launched in late 2012 the Holden Colorado 7 is based on the same under pinnings as the regular Colorado, however bodywork from the A-pillar back is entirely different. Instead the Colorado 7 takes on the form of a large SUV with an enclosed roof, tailgate and 7-seats. The Colorado 7 is powered by the same VM Motori 2.8L Turbo Diesel engine and unlike the Colorado the rear suspension is a five-link system connected to coil springs but retains the live axle.[19]

The range consists of two trim levels; LT and LTZ. Standard equipment for all Colorado 7s includes cruise control, body-coloured bumpers, side steps, front fog lights, aluminium roof rails, rear parking sensors (in addition to the rear camera), Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB input, roof mounted climate control vents for second and third rows and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls. The LTZ adds 18-inch wheels, projector headlights, exterior chrome highlights, leather seats, a premium sounds system, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, higher grade interior trim elements and LED tail-lights.[19]

Chevrolet has discussed re-introducing the Colorado 7 as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, which is already on sale in other markets globally, but it will not be sold in North America. GM claims that the sales of the Equinox and Traverse would dwindle. However, on November 16, 2015, it did file trademark applications for the Blazer and Chevrolet Blazer in the United States, which could open the door for a next generation successor to the TrailBlazer.[20]

"What is the difference between a Colorado 7 and a Trail Blazer?"

Not much, since they are the same vehicle, with Holden using the Colorado 7 name in Australia and New Zealand. Plus, this vehicle was already in existence before Isuzu's MU-7 arrived. Isuzu builds them separately from GM in its own Thailand plant.

"How is this Isuzu/Mazda partnership going to effect GM/Ford in the overseas truck market?"

Not much, I guess. Especially with Ford building its relationship with its Chinese partner, Jialing (JMC Vigus) and Mazda partnering with Toyota in mexico, Mazda may not matter much. South Africa, however, will be interesting because GM markets the Isuzu KB and owns the Isuzu name outright in that country.

@Jake D
As to your second question:
Mazda is aiming for now a premium product, so a tie up with Isuzu will give a rugged base for a more sophisticated product.

Competition , now and in the future will be huge in Global Pickups.
As far as I know the following new entrants will be involved:
Mercedes, Renault, Peugeot/ Citroen, possibly BMW, who are watching what Mercedes is doing, Then Fiat currently a rebadged Mitsubishi.Then you have the current players: Toyota which sells 700,000 a year, in no particular order after Toyota them Isuzu, Nissan , Mitsubishi( May be taken over by Fiat), VW, Ford, GM after that the Chinese who are selling in smaller markets plus China.

The Current Trailblazer does not have the Duramax diesel. Current Colorado 7, is not the same as the Trailblazer but the to be released 2016 will be

GM/Ford are relatively small players in the Global Pickup market. New entrants will definitely affect both of them dramatically.
I think the battle between Mercedes, VW and possibly BMW, could greatly affect the whole scene

Ford partnering with JIAC not a good look, they could create more problems than solve them. Chinese Trucks and Pickups are looked at as " Dollar Shop" alternatives.

Mazda partnering with Isuzu could bring a " Zoom Zoom" vibe to that partnership. Mazda was going to partner with Toyota,but broke that off.

Nearly forgot. Hyundai who has not made Pickups before is also joining the " 1 Tonne" Brigade. It has abandoned the Sante Cruz concept as a result from pressure from it's Dealerships outside NA. New Pickup roughly 2020

Thanks guys
So the Colorado 7 and Trail Blazer are different names for different countries , production or sales should not be affected and Ford /GM will have to foot their own development bill or find another partner on their next gen. trucks.

@Jake D
I doubt the Trailblazer in the US will have the Duramax. It will be indentical otherwise to the Global one from 2016 onwards

@ Robert Ryan,

I remember reading somewhere about Hyundai getting into the one-tonne market. Seeing how their passenger car/CUV sales in North America and south Korea have been hit, they can't move fast enough.

The Santa Cruz, however, is still a go for the US. A friend of mine works for a supplier to the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama and he told me last week that Hyundai is already discussing plant expansion for a new product line. it won't be for SUV's and CUV's, since that is taking place at the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia.

You left out Honda in you list of potential players. Honda origianally stated at the Detroit auto show that the new Ridgeline will not be sold overseas, despite Honda Australia's request for a version of the truck. But a fellow diecast collector from Australia told me that he recently spotted several camo-covered Ridgelines testing near his home, so I suspect you may be seeing Ridgelines at your Honda dealer real soon. Perhaps you can find out if Honda is expanding the Thailand factory.

Mitsubishi taken over by Fiat? Not while Renault/Nissan is in bed with Mitsubishi. Fiat, at best, may buy the manufacturing and tooling rights to the Triton whenever the Mitsu fire sale gerts started, provided (1) Proton hasn't already secured the rights to the Triton, and (2) Fiat/Chrysler hasn't gone out of business, thanks to Sergio Marchionne's massive screw-ups.

GM and Ford are putting more resources into China. It makes sense for both to partner with Chinese companies. Nothing lasts forever and GM had a long partnership with Isuzu as Ford had with Mazda. Isuzu and Mazda joining together to develop Global trucks for markets outside North America makes sense. If the North American market becomes more competitive and attractive either Mazda and/or Isuzu could renter the market. This is not to say either will reenter the market but this could be a option in the future.

Some of those old Chevy LUV trucks ran for years especially some of the diesels. They were tough little trucks. GM still uses diesel engines based on the D-max and are going to start rebadging the NPR, a medium duty commercial truck, again as a Chevy and GMC. GM is concentrating most of their manufacturing in China and it partnering with Chinese companies. China has much more to offer GM, Ford, and FCA than does Japan especially with a larger market and cheaper manufacturing.

You never got over 21mpg Scott N in a Tacoma? Even my old 1991 Deluxe Pickup aka: Tacoma got 23 consistently and it was an auto/air. I couldn't make it get anything worse even air on and pedal to the floor..It "always" got 23 regardless.
Of course Toyota has never been the best in fuel milage anyway but what I spend in all the repairs on a Chevy/Dodge/Ford exc..I always just lose everything I ever saved in the shops anyway. I miss that old truck but way too small.
Toyota is coming out with a Tundra diesel in the states finally so I'll be there very soon, what took you so long Toyota? Best diesels in the world by far.
Oh yep Jeff S'
The ol' Luvs in the 70's sure where Isuzu, my Bro had an Isuzu Diesel PUP he bought new that ran for many many miles.. Had glow plugs/relay issues at times, good truck though. Well' until GM screwed them up.

The comments to this entry are closed.