CONFIRMED: Isuzu to Abandon American Consumer Market and i-Series Pickup Based on Chevy Colorado
By: Mike Levine Posted: 01-30-08 11:13 PT
© 2008

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Update #4: 01-30-08 14:08 PT

Automotive News has just published a story on Isuzu's departure with new details about the national dealer council meeting held this morning.

Update #3: 01-30-08 12:39 PT

Isuzu has just released the following statement. It confirms our sources' information that the departure will also include the i-Series pickups.

CERRITOS, CA -- 01/30/08 -- Isuzu Motors America, Inc. announced today that, effective January 31, 2009, it would discontinue distributing new Isuzu passenger vehicles in North America. The discontinuation of passenger vehicles results from the prospective cessation of production by General Motors Corporation of the Ascender sport utility vehicle and the i-290 and i-370 pickup trucks.

"It has always been our intention to remain in the U.S. market," said Terry Maloney, president and COO. "However, we were unable to secure any commercially viable replacements for these vehicles."

Although Isuzu will cease supplying passenger vehicles in North America, it will continue to stand behind its customers and dealers here for years to come. Specifically, Isuzu will continue to honor all product warranties and roadside assistance programs and will maintain its owner-relations call center. In addition, to assure long-term service to its customers, Isuzu will be offering all current, U.S. Isuzu vehicle dealers the opportunity to continue on as service dealerships for Isuzu. "Let me make it crystal clear," Maloney said. "Isuzu will discontinue the sales of vehicles only. Our parts and service operation will remain fully functional. We expect the vast majority of our dealers will continue as service-only dealers."

End Release.

Update #2: 01-30-08 12:28 PT

Sources tell us the announcement was made this morning to Isuzu's North American dealer council.

Isuzu is abandoning the entire consumer market in North America, not just SUVs, as has been reported by Reuters.

No impact is expected to other Isuzu N.A. initiatives, like its partnership with General Motors to manufacture 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engines for use in GM's heavy duty pickups.

Update #1: 01-30-08 11:48 PT

It's confirmed. Reuters has just crossed the wires with the same news - though Reuters says it's only SUV sales.

The exit also includes i-Series pickup truck sales.

Reuters says the move will cost Isuzu $37-million USD to leave North America in dealer buy-outs and other expenses related to the move.

Reliable sources tell that Isuzu is leaving the American consumer vehicle market and will abandon its i-Series pickup, based on General Motors' Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon platform.

There have been rumors that Isuzu is planning a big announcement at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) conference in San Francisco in early February. This is likely it.

Isuzu only sold 4,138 i-Series pickups in 2007, though that was up from 3,497 units the year before.

Isuzu will also end sales of the Ascender SUV, based on the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

We're trying to get an official response from Isuzu. More news to come.

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