Isuzu has decided to leave the US market, and will officially stop selling new vehicles in the country on the 31st of January 2009, a year from now. The decision to leave the American market was fueled by the inability to produce replacement models for its Isuzu Ascender and Isuzu i-series, the only two trucks it sells in the US market.
The Isuzu Ascender is essentially a reskinned Chevrolet Trailblazer, and the Isuzu i-series (shown above) is based on the GM small-pickup platform. Isuzu says GM may discontinue these two vehicles, thus leaving Isuzu with nothing to base their next generation US models on. Of course, the other reason could be that Isuzu sales in the US had slid from 103,937 in 1999 down to only 7,098 units last year.
“It has always been our intention to remain in the U.S. market. 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. Isuzu will be offering all current U.S. dealers the opportunity to continue on as service dealerships for Isuzu,” said Terry Maloney, CEO.