Published on April 11th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Isuzu Celebrates 100 Years of Building Vehicles
Starting out as a merger between a shipbuilder and an energy provider in 1916, the first vehicle to roll off the production line was the A-9 in 1922. As the first passenger car ever built in Japan, it spearheaded one of the world’s biggest industrial success stories.
It wasn’t until 1949 that the ‘Isuzu Motors Limited’ name was adopted by the Japanese company, a brand name that has since adorned many hugely successful passenger cars, rugged 4x4s, pick-ups and commercial vehicles. Literally translated in English as ‘fifty bells’, the ‘50’ part of the name was represented by the Roman numeral, ‘L’, in the model names Bellel and Bellett, the very first Isuzu models released in Europe in the 1950s.
Since then, Isuzu has found global acclaim with vehicles released in over 100 countries. The Isuzu 117 Coupe was a pioneering concept, recognised as the first-ever sports car with a diesel engine. The Isuzu Piazza followed soon after as a unique fastback with all-wheel drive, and also the last conventional passenger car before Isuzu focused its attention to specialist 4×4 production.
Alongside a commercial vehicle division, large MPVs, SUVs, 4x4s and pick-ups have become Isuzu’s speciality. The most notable models from the 1990s and 2000s include the Trooper, VehiCROSS, MU and Rodeo.