Isuzu to leave U.S. market

Isuzu has officially announced that it will pull out of the U.S. light-vehicle market. While the company will still sell its commercial trucks in the U.S., Isuzu will no longer be selling its i-series pickup truck or Ascender SUV as of January 1, 2009. Isuzu will continue to offer parts and service in the U.S. for its vehicles.

Isuzu says the decision to leave the U.S. market was made because of a lack of future products. Both of Isuzu's models are based on General Motors vehicles -- the i-series pickup on the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and the Ascender SUV on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer -- and GM has no plans to update either platform in the near future. Isuzu deemed developing a vehicle on its own specifically for the U.S. market too costly.

Rumors that Isuzu would leave the U.S. market have been circling for years, due to the Japanese automaker's lackluster sales. In 2006, Isuzu managed to sell just 15,751 vehicles and only moved 7,906 units in 2007.

The exit from the U.S. market will reportedly cost Isuzu $37 million in dealer buyouts and other move related expenses.