Isuzu to GM: 'It's Been Grand, But I'm Dating Someone Else Now' [UPDATE]

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
isuzu to gm 8216 its been grand but im dating someone else now update

Update: Automotive News is reporting General Motors is now focusing “on the higher end of the market while the Japanese firm sticks to selling vehicles for everyday commercial purposes,” strongly hinting that GM is the one that broke off the collaboration. We’ve added detail below.

After announcing a new bromance with Mazda just over a week ago, Isuzu is calling it quits with its old beau General Motors.

(Or maybe GM caught Isuzu cheating behind its back. Who knows? The relationship dynamics at play between automakers are difficult to flesh out.)

Regardless, midsize trucks — badged as both Isuzus and Chevrolets — will be no more in the Land of Smiles. The duo, which has a truck plant each in Thailand, will decouple their R&D efforts as they move toward engineering new global midsize pickups.

As part of the previous announcement, Mazda ended one of its last ties with former parent Ford. The Japanese company will instead work with Isuzu on its next BT pickup, which will become a rebadged version of the Isuzu D-Max. Since Isuzu now has a new willing partner in Mazda, the automaker that once gave GM all its LUV is parting ways with Detroit in the global pickup segment after more than a decade working together. The current Isuzu D-Max provides the basis for the global Chevrolet Colorado, which is structurally different from the one Chevrolet sells in North America.

“After detailed discussions with GM, we have agreed that we will continue pickup truck development on our own,” Isuzu said in statement, reported by Automotive News.

“Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation midsize pickup truck for GMI markets is no longer the optimal model for this project,” GM said in today’s statement.

From AN:

One GM executive said the “unique requirements” for GM are about the strategic shift it began making last year in Southeast Asia where it is now trying to focus more on competing in the higher end of the region’s truck and SUV markets.

Despite the obvious benefits of collaborating on development such as sharing costs, the executive, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to discuss the move, said that GM had decided not to try to copy its Japanese rivals in Southeast Asia where brands like Isuzu, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. dominate.

“It doesn’t make sense for us trying to copy the business strategy of the Japanese rivals in Southeast Asia,” the executive said.

Domestically, Isuzu and GM announced they’d be working together to launch GM back into the medium-duty market with a new line of cabover trucks. Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on the Isuzu N-Series.

The change in Japan’s pickup strategy leaves GM and Ford to fend on their own outside of North America — unless they can figure out a way to work together.

[Image: Isuzu]

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jul 24, 2016

    I would say that the Isuzu and Mitsubishi COE trucks must work for many businesses or they would not buy them. I do not think having a long hood would work as well for delivery trucks in urban areas with tighter parking. If these trucks did not serve a purpose then no one would buy them. As for midsize versus compact trucks Government standards have basically made a true compact truck a harder sell for the manufacturers. A smaller truck would be subject to the same efficiency standards as a compact car which while not being fair it is what it is. The current midsize trucks are not subject to as strict a standards. At the present time a compromise to a midsize truck is more doable than a full size half ton truck for those wanting a smaller truck. If in the future a full size half ton is reduced slightly in size then a midsize truck will no longer be viable. It is possible to reduce the length of full size pickups if these trucks are made of lighter materials and if most have smaller engines.

  • Guitar man Guitar man on Jul 29, 2016

    "Regardless, midsize trucks — badged as both Isuzus and Chevrolets — will be no more in the Land of Smiles. The duo, which has a truck plant each in Thailand, will decouple their R&D efforts as they move toward engineering new global midsize pickups." ? Nope. Both GM and Isuzu will continue to build and sell pick ups in Thailand. "The current Isuzu D-Max provides the basis for the global Chevrolet Colorado" Wrong again. The bodyshell of the D-Max was designed by GM at their Buena Vista studios, and it is in fact the _previous_ model Colorado.

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.