By on June 15, 2015

Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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27 Comments on “General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    What Gasoline Engine? GM hasn’t made a large gasser since they stopped the 8.1 in (09?).

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It would have to be the 6.2L, right?

      Ford offers their 6.2L on SuperDuty trucks. They do have the 6.8L V10 available as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        6.2L is a performance/CAFE oriented engine, which is why it’s not in the 2500/3500 now.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          So then the 6.0L….yuck.

          Makes me miss the 8100.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I thought GM discontinued the 6.0 and replaced it with the 6.2. Guess not.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The 6.0l is still a damn good engine, it’s numbers aren’t great compared to the competition, but it still performs right beside both of them. Additionally it, along with the SS’s old style 6.2 are the most simplistic and reliable of the GM* V8s still made.
            I’d like to see it soldier on for another decade but I would also like to see a High displacement option come out, we used to have two V10s and the BBC, now we have all small block V8s as the only options. A new 8.1 with DI, LT tech, and hell, cyclinder deactivation would be the ticket. Imagine an 8.1 cruising on 4 cylinders

            edit:
            * And I would say cheapest cost to own of all engines between all makers in the 3/4 and 1 ton sections

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Big Block ain’t never coming back.

            While I don’t hate the 6.0L, I wouldn’t take it over the Ford 6.2L or Ram 6.4L.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Maybe they will bring back the 8.1? I think it was earlier(’08 or late ’07) when it was discontinued. I am sure some its old fans would welcome it back.
      Although I don’t know how involved that would be. Gearing up production would be costly I’m sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I can’t imagine them bringing it back as it left, but if they fixed the oil drinking problem, and made a few adjustments, yea sure, I’d love it back.
        I know it outlived the GMT800 for Motorhomes, boats, and such.

        Either way, Diesel engines are more costly than ever to own, operate, and maintain. When the 8.1L left the show the Diesels were still relatively simple, I bet sales would have taking a nice jump if they had allowed it to live through the GMT900 and its emissions additions.

        A simple gas engine with 500-600 lb-ft of torque below 2500 RPM without exhaust fluid, higher fuel costs, and higher entry price, would be just what the doctor ordered.

        Edit: Last 8.1 was made in December 2009.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          An Atkinson cycle 10-12 liter I6 of only modest complexity, could prove a very direct drop in for the traditional 6-8 liter I6 turbodiesel in truck drivetrains. Would likely need more space than is available in an npr, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            An Atkinson cycle engine is the exact opposite of what you need in a MD truck. They lack low end torque which is why you find them in hybrids which make up the difference with the electric motor that provides peak torque at zero rpm.

  • avatar
    udman

    It looks like Chevrolet will be receiving a copy of the Isuzu NPR Flat Front Cabover Trucks. They will not be a direct replacement for the old 4500 or 5500 trucks GM once produced. This seems to be a very underwhelming development, as Isuzu is capable of matching the needs for the market.

    This reminds me of the equally disappointing Chevrolet City Express small van that is really nothing but a Nissan NV-200 with a Chevrolet Bow Tie on the front grill… which is just pathetic…

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Put on the tinfoil:

    It was an elaborate plan to shut down one of the Flint plants that really was doing good work!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Well Isuzu was willing to take over the line to keep the Koadiak/Topkick in production. GM decided just to shut it down instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No Isuzu wouldn’t come up with cash and all Navistar wanted was the P30 chassis and walk in truck business. Which is funny because Navistar shut down the Workhorse division and Isuzu has stepped up their efforts in the walk in truck market with an exclusive body called the Reach. If Isuzu would have ponyed up the cash they could have had the conventional class 4/5 trucks and the P30 to get a foothold before spending the money on a new entry in the walk in truck and Motorhome chassis market.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Roger and Me, the followup . . .

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I always thought they should put that serious face on the Silverado HDs or something.

  • avatar
    Toad

    The Kodiak and Top Kick were the worst trucks on the medium duty market, targeted to the municipal and fleet buyers looking for the lowest possible cost irregardless of quality, resale value, or operator comfort. Cheap materials, terrible ergonomics, marginal quality, and sub Soviet looks were the hallmark of these unloved and unmissed vehicles.

    Other than that, glad GM is back in the medium duty market.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I feel I must tell you that “irregardless,” though used often (even on shows like The Sopranos), is not actually a word.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        What makes you “feel” that you “must” tell him?

        We aren’t in (Eng 301) here……just an auto blog.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          It’s genetic. Some people’s hypothalamus goes all wonky when seeing or hearing recurrent idiocies like “irregardless”, “supposably”, “garnish” for garner, “your” for you’re and “could/would/should of..” etc.

          I am a fellow sufferer.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          If I can help to reduce the use of that word in any way, I will do so! Can’t help it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m afraid I can’t let you do it as that word is simply trying to be accepted. It identifies as being a word, and since accepted words are a social construct, it has a right to be a word.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh well in that case, I’ll give it some money and a front page news story.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            And for penance we prideful sinners, zealots for grammar rules and tools of Beelzebub, shall say ten Irregardlesses and ten Supposablys. In public. And *mean* them.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Usage Discussion of IRREGARDLESS

        Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The 6.0 is supposed to be a “truck” engine. It holds its own, at least the current iteration does.

    I “googled” (technically not a dictionary word) Isuzu and they are already using GM’s 6.0 V8.

    They have 2 diesels in MDT:

    Isuzu 4JJ1-TC turbocharged
    intercooled diesel
    3.0L (183 in.3)
    150hp @ 2,800 rpm
    282 lb.-ft. @ 1,600-2,800 rpm

    According to Wikipedia this engine was in the global Rodeo and Colorado.

    Isuzu 4HK1-TC turbocharged
    intercooled diesel
    5.2L (317 in.3)
    215hp @ 2,500 rpm
    452 lb.-ft. @ 1,850 rpm

    These are both 16 Valve 4 cylinder engines.

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