General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
general motors returning to medium duty truck market via isuzu

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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  • MrGreenMan MrGreenMan on Jun 15, 2015

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

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    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jun 16, 2015

      @bball40dtw 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.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 15, 2015

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

  • Toad Toad on Jun 15, 2015

    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.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 15, 2015

      @Corey Lewis 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.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 16, 2015

    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.