By on December 22, 2009

In the good old “SUV” days, GM forged ties with many companies. But since the bubble burst and GM went to the bankruptcy court, those ties are being severed. Fiat, gone. NUMMI, gone. Suzuki, gone. Now, another partner  wants out. Bloomberg reports that Isuzu are looking to have talks with General Motors to review and   possibly pull out of a joint venture. The joint venture in question is the DMAX diesel engine plant in Ohio, which may operate at 30% capacity next year. “Our venture in North America serves large-size vehicles, and there is definitely a question mark on that market,” Susumu Hosoi, President of Isuzu said. “I want to ask GM what their thinking is.”

Isuzu aren’t the only ones who think this may be a good idea. “It would be best for Isuzu to end its partnership with GM,” said Koichi Ogama, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. in Tokyo. “The U.S. market will likely recover next year, but I don’t think demand for large vehicles like SUVs will recover.”. So while the market and Isuzu think termination of this joint venture would be good, GM have a different take.

“There are no plans to change the relationship with Isuzu in regard to the DMAX plant,” Tom Read, a GM spokesman in Warren, Michigan, said in an e-mail. Not only do Isuzu and GM have the DMAX plant in Ohio, they also have a diesel engine plant in Poland which is also under review by Isuzu. Are Isuzu right to keep their distance from GM? Well, if you ask Toyota, the answer is probably yes.

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11 Comments on “Isuzu Cutting Ties With GM?...”


  • avatar
    Steven02

    It is an interesting piece, but not many SUV’s come with diesels.  They come with gas engines.  While I don’t know how many trucks are sold with diesels, I think that this market would be relatively stable now and increasing with the economy.
    On the other hand, I think what needs to happen is to have some smaller trucks with smaller diesel engines.  I think that would be quite useful.  If that market could be exploited, I think the plant would be ok.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    GM just wants/needs a sugardaddy to help keep that plant running.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    There are already a great many medium trucks that are diesels. I am seeing a lot of International trucks of the new stylish design that Navistar introduced a few years ago, and they are all diesels – Navistar doesn’t build any gas-powered trucks. My guess would be that every single flat-nose Japanese medium truck on the US roads is also a diesel. Is GM making any inroads on that market? I have no idea. I have seen a couple of flat-nose trucks with the GMC name, but thought they were rebadged Isuzus or something.

  • avatar
    radimus

    I think the DMAX being referred to is the Duramax V8 diesel engine:
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duramax_V8_engine
     
    It’s used in GM’s medium duty trucks and is available as an option in the 2500 and 3500 pickups.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Isuzu and GM have been dismantling their partnership piece by piece for over a year now. DMAX production is simply the final piece of the puzzle.

  • avatar
    moedaman

    Susumu Hosoi, President of Isuzu said. “I want to ask GM what their thinking is.”

    People have been wanting to ask GM that question for years!

  • avatar
    NickR

    Isn’t GM abandoning the Top Kick truck and it’s sisterships? If that’s the case, I would think that Isuzu would be more inclined to stick it out as GM is vacating a niche they could fill. Or not.

    (BTW trivia buffs when the last Top Kick rolls off the line that will be the last production Chevy big block (which traces its roots back to the ’65 396). Of course, there are a myriad of Chevy-like blocks being churned out by other manufacturers.

  • avatar
    Dave Skinner

    “My guess would be that every single flat-nose Japanese medium truck on the US roads is also a diesel. ”

    As a matter of fact, the Isuzu N-series is available with a diesel or a 6.0 liter Vortec (Chevy small block):

    http://www.isuzucv.com/engines/index.html

    So if Isuzu ends their partnership, who supplies their gas engine?

  • avatar
    Odomeater

    I see that the “portfolio manager” from Japan has a good read on this situation. Seeing as GM/Isuzu build so many SUV’s with the Duramax Diesel motor. Note: Diesel NOT AVAILABLE in Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban etc. The Duramax is an option for 2500 and 3500 series pick up trucks and formerly in 4500/5500 series TopKick/Kodiak trucks. Now there is also a 7.8L diesel that Gm used in their medium duty trucks as well. And a 5.2L diesel used in cabover W series trucks.

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