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Isuzu Motors Ltd. announced Monday that it has formed a commercial vehicle sales company in the United States with General Motors Corp.

The joint venture was launched through the amalgamation of Isuzu’s U.S.-based sales unit for commercial vehicle operations and GM’s sales operations of midsize trucks.

The new company, General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck LLC, was capitalized at $50,000, 51 percent of which was put up by Isuzu and the remainder by GM.

The joint venture’s president will be dispatched from Isuzu.

The California-based company has 168 employees and expects to post $2.5 billion in sales in 2002 through the sale of 35,000 Isuzu and 45,000 GM vehicles.

GM holds a 49 percent stake in Isuzu.

Honda, Yamaha deal

Japan’s No. 1 and No. 2 motorcycle makers, Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co., have begun joint distribution of motorcycles throughout Japan, according to sources.

The joint distribution deal, which covers delivery to retail outlets from their transportation companies’ key distribution centers, is is expected to cut costs by 20 percent to 30 percent.

The initiative has been under way in southern Kyushu since Sept. 1 and is scheduled to begin in the Chugoku region in October. It will eventually cover Shikoku and Hokkaido and may also be introduced in Tokyo and Osaka.

The companies are also ready to allow rival manufacturers, such as Suzuki Motor Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., to join the scheme.

Motorcycle makers have been looking for ways to reduce costs in the face of declining domestic demand for the machines. In 1999, the domestic motorcycle market shrank to just 840,000 units, or a quarter of its peak of 3.28 million units in 1982.

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