Heritage

Backed by a legacy of history, technology and spirit, Isuzu continues to be a pioneer in a new age.



As one of the oldest companies in the Japanese automotive industry, Isuzu traces its beginnings to 1916, the year Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., and Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. initiated plans for automobile production. In 1922, Japan's first domestically produced automobile, a Wolseley model A-9 is completed. In 1934, a Ministry of Trade and Industry standard model car was launched and named the "Isuzu" after the ISUZU River in the ISE Shrine area. This is the origin of the company name, which was changed to today's "Isuzu Motors Limited" in 1949. After World War II, development and production of commercial vehicles occurred at a feverish pace in Japan. There was great demand for Isuzu trucks to carry all kinds of materials, products and foodstuffs, and they played a major role in postwar reconstruction. Isuzu's passion for truck production is firmly rooted in this period. Since that time, an endless variety of models from light-duty trucks to heavy-duty trucks and buses have rolled off Isuzu production lines, with each vehicle being put to hard use in support of economic growth.

History of commercial vehicles
ELF Light-duty Trucks

N-Series
Launched in 1959, ELF received a diesel engine the following year, a first for light-duty trucks in Japan. ELF has always led the way in light-duty trucks, with the Flat Low model introduced in 1974, the Wide Cab in 1980 and front independent suspension in 1990. The ELF KR, launched in 2002, was the first to comply with Japan's 2003 new short-term emission standards. In 2004, ELF broke the cumulative manufacturing mark of four million vehicles. In 2006, an innovative full model change went beyond the traditional concept of light-duty trucks. ELF continues to perform as a global standard truck in the new age.
FORWARD Medium-duty Trucks

F-Series
FORWARD, a medium-duty truck, was born in 1966 under the name TY, and received its current name in 1970. The short-cab FORWARD V was added in 1998, with FORWARDMAX introduced the following year. In 2007, use of a common module for light- and medium-duty trucks led to a full model change. FORWARD responds to changes in the transport environment by offering the ultimate in medium-duty truck performance and bringing new value.
GIGA Heavy-duty Trucks & Tractors

C&E-Series
The GIGA heavy-duty truck and tractor series was introduced in 1994. GIGAMAX, launched in 1997, featured Japan's first 4-bag air suspension system. In 2007, advanced Visual Assist Technology utilizing millimeter-wave radar was added, creating a new standard in safety performance.
Bus Series
The GALA large-size sight-seeing bus was introduced in 1996, followed by GALA mio and ERGA mio medium-duty buses in 1999. ERGA, a large route/private-use bus, was launched in 2000. GALA went through a full model change in 2005. The safety and environmental performance of ERGA and ERGA mio was enhanced in 2007.
Commercial Vehicle Telematics
Mimamori-kun Online Service, the first telematics system for trucks in Japan, was launched in 2004. Communication functions were dramatically enhanced in 2007 and Japan's first Internet digital tachograph was added.

History of passenger vehicles
Isuzu was also an automotive engineering pioneer as a passenger vehicle manufacturer. Starting with the first Hillman passenger car in 1953, Isuzu introduced Bellel in 1961 and Bellett in 1963. The Bellett GT, affectionately called by the nickname, Bele-G, gained great popularity. In 1968, the Giugiaro-designed 117-Coupe reached the market. The Gemini, a vehicle jointly developed with GM, was introduced in 1974, followed in 1981 by another Giugiaro-design, the Piazza, and a compact 4WD vehicle, the Rodeo Bighorn. In 1985, Isuzu introduced FF Gemini, and its television commercial featuring daredevil stunt-driving was a great hit. Isuzu's distinctive passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles still have a loyal following of fans even now.

Hillman

Bellett

117Coupe

Gemini

Piazza

Bighorn

History of overseas business development
Isuzu inaugurated its overseas operations in 1949 with the first export of its first vehicles to Hong Kong. In 1971, the affiliation agreement with General Motors marked the beginning of Isuzu's full-scale overseas strategy, and by 1972 the company was exporting KB pickup trucks to the United States. In another partnership with GM, Isuzu unveiled the Gemini in 1974, which was developed under the first "world car" plan. Since then, Isuzu has been expanding its overseas subsidiaries and opened manufacturing plants or sales bases in Thailand in 1974, in North America in 1975, and in China in 1985. In China, today's operations are rooted in friendships developed through Isuzu's pioneering technology transfers and establishment of joint ventures. Diesel engine plants began production in Poland in 1999 and in the United States in 2000. Cumulative production of diesel engines in Japan and abroad already exceeds 20 million units.
Between 2005 and 2007, sales bases were established in Spain, Mexico, Canada and South Africa, and local manufacturing began in India and Uzbekistan. Moreover, we established a joint venture in Russia for truck manufacturing and sales.

Today, Isuzu continues to move forward in both hardware and software with the aim of being a leading company on a global scale in commercial vehicles and diesel engines.