Report: Isuzu To Quit North American SUV Sales

Illustration for article titled Report: Isuzu To Quit North American SUV Sales

Reuters is reporting Isuzu, unlike Jake Gyllenhaal, no longer wishes it knew how to quit North American SUV sales. Here's their report:

Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd said on Thursday it would end sales of sport utility vehicles in North American in a year due to dwindling demand.

Isuzu began selling SUVs in North America in the 1980s and in 1999 its annual sales there topped 100,000 vehicles, led by the popular Trooper model.

Financial difficulties later forced Isuzu to pull out of a joint venture factory in Indiana with Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd in 2002, and instead sell SUVs built by former top shareholder General Motors Corp.

Isuzu said in a statement that its North American SUV sales totaled just 7,000 vehicles last year.

The termination will result in an extraordinary loss of 4 billion yen ($37 million) to be booked partly in the current business year ending on March 31 and some in the new year, a spokesman in Tokyo said.

The firm's latest projections call for a group net profit of 80 billion yen in the year to March.

Isuzu will continue SUV parts sales and maintenance in North America, the spokesman said.

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My only question is — what's going to happen to that dealer network? Can someone say Changfeng? What's that you say — the Heath Ledger joke isn't funny? What, too soon?

UPDATE: Apparently it is too soon and since it was Jake who claimed he couldn't quit Heath, we'll just make a Jake Gyllenhaal joke. We feel like it's open season on him anyway ever since Day After Tomorrow. Also, Isuzu is quitting sales of the Chevy Colorado-based i-Series pickup truck too according to our friends at PickupTruck.com. [Reuters, PickupTruck]

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DISCUSSION

What really killed Isuzu in this country was the dealer body. This is just one example (of many that I have witnessed) A co-worker of mine (this was back in 1995) who had not so great credit went to a notorious Isuzu/Suzuki dealer. She Leased a Rodeo (1st edition) base, with an add on electric sunroof, and 4WD. GE Capital was performing the leases at that time with with a ridiculous residual value of 40%. They also stated in the contract that this was an LS model (which it wasn't) had Alloys (it didn't) and tinted windows (again, not on this one). Oh, and in the contract, there was a very high over mileage fee, and an outrageous termination fee. From what I found out later was that she was more than double her mileage limit, and she couldn't pay for the termination fee because she was trying to trade in the vehicle. This dealer was shut down by GE Capital, but they didn't renegotiate any of their leases.

Oh, and Isuzu SUV's (the Rodeo, Trooper, and Axiom) were not very good trucks, with a lot of repair issues, and once people bought an Isuzu, they never seem to have bought another one.