Isuzu Motors Ltd. will start supplying the Elf small truck to Mazda Motor Corp. late next year on an original-equipment-manufacturing basis, the firms said Friday.

The deal is expected to help the two carmakers reduce costs to develop and manufacture trucks that clear tougher regulations on exhaust gas emissions from diesel-powered vehicles.

Isuzu, a major truck maker, will deliver about 6,000 trucks with a load capacity of 2 tons or 3 tons annually to Mazda, which will sell them in Japan under the Titan brand, the companies said.

Mazda has commissioned Press Kogyo, an auto body manufacturer, to assemble the Titan trucks, but the contract is scheduled to end in the second half of 2004, Mazda said.

The latest agreement will enable Isuzu to improve productivity through increased economies of scale. Mazda can obtain small trucks that meet tougher environmental standards and focus more on cars at the same time, they said.

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