The inception of Isuzu, the oldest player in the Japanese automobile sector, dates back to the year 1916. This is the year when Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. and Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. decided to venture into the production of automobiles. Six years later, in 1922, Japan’s first ever indigenously manufactured truck (the A-9 model of a Wolseley) was completed. This vehicle was renamed as ‘Isuzu’ in 1934 after a meeting with the Ministry of Trade and Industry standards. This name was chosen after the river Isuzu located in the area of Ise Shrine. The name of the company 'Isuzu Motors Limited' came to existence much later in the year 1949.
After the end of the Second World War, the production and development of trucks took place at an extremely sluggish pace. In the post-war scenario, there was a serious need to carry foodstuffs and different types of products. Isuzu trucks played a commendable role in the post war reconstruction process. Since this period, Isuzu has always been passionate about the trucks. Over the years, the company has come up with an awe inspiring variety of light and heavy duty trucks, and buses.
The N-series was launched by Isuzu in 1959. With the addition of a diesel engine in 1960, this model became Japan’s first light-duty truck with a diesel engine. The undisputed industry leader in light-duty trucks, Isuzu has introduced several top-notch models. Some of the most noteworthy launches include Flat Low in 1974, Wide Cab in 1980, and the ELF KR in 2002. Interestingly, ELF KR was Japan’s first vehicle to pass the country’s standards for short term emission.
Isuzu launched the medium-duty F-Series way back in the 70s. The models FORWARD V and FORWARDMAX were introduced in 1998 and 1999 respectively. The super efficient Smoother-F transmission was made available to the series in 2002.
The heavy-duty tractors and trucks belonging to the C&E Series were introduced in 1995. Two years later, the GIGAMAX was introduced. This model was Japan’s first vehicle ever to feature 4-bag air suspension. In order to increase the competitive edge, GIGA tractors were improved in 2001 with the inclusion of Smoother-G transmissions.
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