Isuzu originally was a second brand for General Motors dealers, but plans now to become more of a primary franchise selling commercial trucks, says Todd Bloom, marketing vice president for Isuzu Motors America Inc.
“Later this year, we'll be setting up our own captive lender to expand our dealers' profit opportunities,” he says.
An effort to boost sales of its midsize trucks is underway with the introduction of the all-new N-Series line in the U.S.
The modernized N-Series accounted for about 31,000 sales in the U.S. last year and the new '08 model should increase this year's total to 50,000, says division executive vice president and general manager, Joseph E. Totaro Jr.
He says the N-Series has been upgraded to buoy sales of Class 3-5 trucks. The midsize class, often overlooked by North American truck buyers in the past, is enjoying increased attention of late.
Totaro says Isuzu dealers have been “extremely profitable” in a flat market for Class 3-5 trucks, which industry-wide totaled about 228,500 units last year.
The '08 N-Series models offer a larger cab and new dashboard with multi-colored signals, plus enlarged side windows and a trendy downward slope.
Isuzu's U.S. retail body consists of more than 200 Isuzu-only dealers and 400 stores with other GM brands.
The Japanese vehicle maker observes its 100th anniversary next year.