Japanese utility vehicle maker and diesel engine specialist Isuzu has tied up with American automaker General Motors for a new, global pick up truck. The platform that Isuzu and General Motors are jointly putting together may not just play host to a pick up truck but also spawn new vehicles such as SUVs and MPVs.
One such product from this platform is the RU30 MPV that Isuzu is developing for the Indian car market. The RU30 MPV will take on the Toyota Innova in India. The MPV is scheduled to make its debut sometime in 2017, and will roll out from Isuzu’s Sri City factory, currently under construction in Andhra Pradesh.
The RU30 will be heavily localized and apart from selling the MPV in India, Isuzu is likely to export the RU30 to neighbouring countries. A similar strategy will be followed for the global pick up truck that will be made in collaboration with General Motors. The RU30 and the global pick up truck will share platforms, giving Isuzu the economies of scale.
Since the global pick up truck is likely to use a ladder frame construction given the vehicle’s positioning as a load carrier, the RU30 MPV from Isuzu is also likely to feature a ladder frame chassis, just like the Toyota Innova, whose next generation version is also sticking to the ladder frame chassis layout. Details of the new SUV based on the global pick up truck platform remain unknown at the moment.
Come 2016, Isuzu will begin full scare vehicle production from its Sri City factory. the Japanese automaker has also revealed that the initial localization at the factory will reach the 80 % level. In 3 years, the localization level will be ramped up to a full 100 %. Isuzu’s Sri City factory will be a hub for both the domestic market in India and also for export markets.
An interesting aspect about the Isuzu-General Motors collaboration is that, such a partnership would give General Motors a range of vehicles to sell in the Indian car market. The American automaker is in the doldrums as far as its Indian operations are concerned, with a paltry 2 % market share to show despite a near-2 decade run in India.
The American automaker could definitely use some volume boosters such as an MPV, SUV and a pick up truck, all based on a ladder frame platform. While its tie up with Isuzu will give it access to high localization levels in India, it remains to be seen if General Motors India does the distance and actually launches the vehicles that its parent company is currently co-developing with Isuzu.