Isuzu Car Company: Corporate Overview
Isuzu is a Japanese car company, which is over 90 years old. Currently Isuzu has only SUV's and trucks in its wings to offer. The company has not rolled out a car since many years. Isuzu has been running in troubled waters for some time now. The functioning of the car company has been based more on its partnership to the world auto giant, General Motors Inc of US.
The Isuzu car company is as old as 1916, when the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company decided to foray into automobile manufacturing business. The first car of the company was known as A9.
Post World War II, the Isuzu's Truck business was on boom. The company made rapid strides in terms of size, revenue and popularity. The passenger car models brought out by the Isuzu included Hillman Minx, Florian, 117 Coupe and the Bellett. The Isuzu truck WASP was also instrumental in the growth of the company.
Other well-known Japanese carmakers like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda and Subaru had already entered and established themselves in the world largest automobile market United States, in terms of annual automobile sales. It was only in 1981 that the Isuzu car company decided to enter the profitable market.
Before landing on American shores, Isuzu had gone into an agreement with the General Motors. The first car model to be sold in the US car market was PUP. The other car models that were developed by Isuzu for the American market were the I-Mark, which was a compact four-door sedan, the Stylus was the car that replaced the I-Mark and the Impulse that was a sporty two-door coupe.
The Trooper, launched in 1981, was a compact SUV and actually the first long race horse from the Isuzu stable. It was available in 2 or 4 door form. It was the only car model from Isuzu that kept the sales of the company soaring and was also a very popular SUV in the market, party because they were (and are) much easier when it comes to auto insurance.
According to Consumer Report 1996 the ultra successful Troopers got a not acceptable rating from them due to a tendency to roll over in some situations. This negatively affected the Isuzu's image. The sales dropped down rapidly. However, in current situation the company seems to be ticking due to its partnership with GM.
The General Motors had invested heavily into Isuzu and picked up a 12% stake in the company. Isuzu makes diesel engines for the GM trucks world over. It has turned from an auto importer to an auto supplier. Both the companies have many joint ventures around the globe.
The companies that need low cost compact passenger vehicles in their fleet mostly buy the line of commercial passenger cars sold by Isuzu. Their pickup trucks are still the ones that hold the majority of their sales. The company's long-term vision does not seem to be clear in case of the North American market. The Axiom and Rodeo car models production was also stopped in 2004. Now the company sees its future in the niche of commercial vehicle supplier and diesel engine manufacturer.