Isuzu Motors Ltd is a Japanese automaker with its headquarter in Tokyo that managed to make it into the list of Top 10 best car brands in Malaysia for 2009. Isuzu recorded 5, 026 units sold in 2008 while in 2009, a total of 5, 048 units were sold. Besides manufacturing passenger cars, Isuzu is also well-known for being the world’s largest heavy duty trucks manufacturer. More generally, Isuzu is reputable for producing commercial vehicles and diesel engines.
Over the years, Isuzu has exported trucks of all sizes to Asia, Africa and European countries. This is because Isuzu had previously failed to penetrate the market for the sales of sedan and compact cars back in 1990s. Thus, the corporation focused solely on trucks and more heavy-duty vehicles which can be quite niche and advantageous.
Famous for heavy-duty trucks
The history of Isuzu can be traced back to 1916 when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co and Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co decided to venture into automobile production. Several years later in 1922, the first truck, a Wolseley model A-9 was successfully completed and subsequently launched.
In 1934, the vehicles changed its name to Isuzu. Over the next few decades, Isuzu was well-known for production of light-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The production of these vehicles helped to spur the country’s economic growth.
Isuzu’s overseas strategy began with the affiliation with General Motors in 1971. A year later, Isuzu began exporting KB pickups to United States. The first world car plan with General Motors was unveiled in 1974. Isuzu managed to expand and set up assembly plants in several other countries such as China, North America and Thailand.
Among all its models, the Isuzu D-Max is one of the most popular products by Isuzu. The pickup truck was launched in 2002. The D-Max was actually the product of the joint-venture between Isuzu with General Motors. As such, it was designed based on the same platform with the likes of GMC’s Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado which were brands by carried under the GM umbrella.
In fact, the Chevrolet Colorado uses the D-Max name in certain countries in Asia. Today, the D-Max continue to enjoy tremendous success in its respective markets because it is one of the most value-for-money models in its class.
Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd (IMSB) was established on September 6, 2004. It is a joint venture between DRB-HICOM BHD, Isuzu Operations (Thailand) Co Ltd (IOT) and Isuzu Motors Asia Ltd Singapore to import, assemble and distribute Isuzu motor vehicles in Malaysia.
It must be noted that only a handful of Isuzu models are available in Malaysia such as D-Max Pro 2.5 Litre, D-Max Hi-Def 210, Double Cab 2.5 Litre and 3.0 Litre and Single Cab 3.0 Litre. In Malaysia, the Isuzu D-Max lineup of models remain as one of the best-selling trucks in its category mainly because of its price and durability.