JAPAN: Isuzu and former partner GM plan emerging markets truck joint venture

By Chris Wright | 26 September 2014

Isuzu Motors reportedly has officially agreed with General Motors to jointly develop a pickup truck for emerging markets.

Isuzu and GM ended their capital partnership in 2006 and agreed not to form a capital tie-up again, the Nikkei business newspaper noted.

The pair were expected to announce the deal on Friday.

Isuzu and GM have standardised many major parts, including diesel engines, to reduce costs.

The automakers plan to manufacture the truck in Southeast Asia and India and sell it in emerging countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia, as early as 2015, the Nikkei said.

Isuzu and GM reached an initial agreement on the development in January 2013 and have been negotiating the details since. GM invested in Isuzu in 1971 and held a maximum stake of 49% in the Japanese company. But when GM's business ran into trouble in 2006, it sold off Isuzu shares, among other assets.

Isuzu's earnings have improved due to structural reforms. Its overseas shipment of trucks in fiscal 2013 reached a record high for the fourth straight year, making it unnecessary for Isuzu to receive capital subscriptions.