The Isuzu name is recognised worldwide for its leadership and innovation, particularly in the field of commercial vehicles manufacture, and diesel engine technology. Throughout a vehicle production history going back 85 years Isuzu vehicles have been engineered with passion and dedication to push the limits of capability while redefining the perceptions of value.
Isuzu can trace its ancestry back to 1893 and the establishment of the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company. As the name suggests this was a heavy engineering company. In 1922, under a joint venture agreement with British auto manufacturer, Wolseley Motor Ltd., the company began production of the Wolseley A9 passenger car. Over the next eight decades Isuzu experienced a steady rise in prominence to become Japan’s best-selling truck manufacturer and a major innovative force in the global automotive industry.
The Isuzu name first appeared in 1934 on a mass produced product range. The name comes from the Isuzu river that runs close to Japan’s oldest religious shrine, the Isa Shrine, in Mie prefecture. The name Isuzu Motors was adopted in 1949.
Over the many decades of its existence Isuzu has accrued a wealth of experience in automotive research and development. Today Isuzu enjoys a position as an established world-class manufacturer of light and heavy commercial vehicles and pick-ups. The company uses advanced technology to deliver real-world benefits to the international vehicle market. Every Isuzu is designed and built with a focus on functionality and durability.
Isuzu is an established force in China, the Middle East, African and ASEAN nations and has a prominent position in its market sectors in North America. In these markets reliability, durability, and overall fuel and operating efficiency are the keys to Isuzu’s success in these highly competitive commercial vehicle markets. This success is reflected in the solid reputation of Isuzu vehicles in the ultra-competitive South African commercial vehicle market.
The Isuzu name is intrinsically linked to diesel engine technology. For over 70 years the company has devoted a major portion of its research and development resources to refining diesel engine technology. Today the company is recognised as a pioneer in the field of diesel engine development in Japan.
Isuzu is ranked amongst the world’s largest producers of diesel engines with total engine production approaching 20 million units. The company has developed an enviable reputation for the performance and exceptional economy of its advanced diesel engines. Currently Isuzu is pursuing the development of new cutting-edge diesel technologies that are aimed at raising performance and durability to even higher levels, improving thermal efficiency and reducing diesel emissions.
Isuzu’s advanced diesel engine technology is applied in Isuzu KB in South Africa through two latest generation Isuzu D-TEQ engines. These feature computer controlled common rail fuel injection together with advanced turbo chargers for optimised torque, power, and fuel economy. The 2.5 litre Isuzu D-TEQ engine produces 85 kW @ 3600 r/min with torque of 280 Nm @ 1800 – 2200 r/min. The 3.0 litre D-TEQ engine produces 120 kW @ 3600 r/min with torque of 360 Nm @ 1800 – 2800 r/min.
While Isuzu has an inherent focus on diesel engine technology it also applies its engineering talent to a range of powerful, efficient and technologically advanced petrol engines, one of these the magnificent 3.6 litre V6 featured in the top of the range Isuzu pick-up. This latest generation petrol engine from Isuzu produces 155 kW @ 5600 r/min with torque of 300 Nm @ 3200 r/min. It features all aluminium construction for light weight and a quad cam design. Electronic Throttle Control and adaptive spark control provide for optimised power delivery and economy.
While General Motors has divested of its shareholding in Isuzu, the two companies retain close links and ongoing relationships. In June of 2006 Isuzu and General Motors formed a joint venture company – LCV Platform Engineering Corporation (LPEC) – for the development of future light commercial vehicle platforms. In South Africa, General Motors manufactures and markets the Isuzu KB, one of the county’s top selling 1-ton pick-ups.