Saturday, February 2, 2008

Isuzu to exit U.S. car market

Isuzu exec: Competition hurt us

Financial problems in the early part of this decade and the intensely competitive U.S. automobile market led to the downfall of Isuzu's passenger vehicle business in North America, according to an Associated Press report.

Isuzu Motors, famous for developing one of the first midsize sport utility vehicles and an ad campaign that featured a salesman telling lies, announced that it will stop selling new pickups and SUVs in North America on Jan. 31, 2009.

The Japanese company had financial problems and restructured to become profitable again earlier this decade, but in doing so had to reduce investments and expenses, said Terry Maloney, president and chief operating officer of Isuzu Motors America Inc.

Isuzu's U.S. sales peaked in 1986 at 123,000 vehicles, mainly on sales of the Trooper SUV, but the company sold only 7,098 pickups and SUVs in 2007.

Isuzu said in a statement that it will back its products and dealers for years to come, honoring all product warranties and roadside assistance programs. Purchase an extended warranty for Isuzu through

Mr. Maloney said Isuzu will remain in the U.S. with its commercial vehicles and diesel engine technology.

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