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GM and Isuzu end ute partnership

By Tristan Tancredi, 26 Jul 2016 News

GM and Isuzu end ute partnership

Isuzu and GM end ute-building relationship.

ISUZU and General Motors have ended their relationship developing pick-up utes in Asia, a deal which was struck back in 2006.

This means both companies won’t jointly develop the next generation of one-tonners, sold in Australia as the Isuzu D-Max and Holden Colorado.

“Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation midsize pick-up truck for markets is no longer the optimal model for this project,” GM said in a statement.

Holden Colorado uteAn unnamed GM executive told Reuters that: “It doesn’t make sense for us [GM] trying to copy the business strategy of the Japanese rivals in Southeast Asia.”

GM will instead recalibrate its focus and target the higher end of Southeast Asia’s SUV and ute markets, while Isuzu will continue focusing on affordable, durable and off-road capable rigs.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Mazda ended its rocky relationship with Ford and has instead joined forces with Isuzu to produce the next-gen BT-50.

Isuzu ute drivingIt is expected that this relationship will lead to an Isuzu-developed ute powered by the latest Mazda powertrains.

Isuzu’s current line-up is heralded for its off-road toughness and go-anywhere appeal, but the 3.0-litre diesel is ageing and in need of a serious update. That’s where Mazda’s latest powertrain could spark things up.

With the partner-sharing Navara-based Renault Alaskan and Navara-based Mercedes-Benz GLT also on the horizon, the 4x4 market is heading for a shake-up. Fun times ahead for the booming segment!