Isuzu products came to the United States for the first time in 1972—albeit badged as Chevrolet models. This gave GM a much-needed entry into the then-new compact pickup truck category. Thus the Chevrolet LUV (light utility vehicle) became Isuzu’s first American offering.
The first Isuzu branded vehicle marketed in the U.S. was the 1981 Isuzu P’up compact pickup truck.
Chevrolet offered that truck as well—again as the aforementioned Chevrolet LUV.
In 1983, the most notable Isuzu car ever was offered here. The Giorgetto Giugiaro styled Isuzu Impulse packed a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and a suspension system tuned by Lotus Engineering. Sadly though, because Isuzu's marketng budget was so small, if you didn’t live in one of the large coastal cities you probably never saw one.
On the other hand, Isuzu’s SUVs did pretty well, benefiting from the SUV boom of the 1980s. Led by the Trooper and the Rodeo (which was also offered as the Honda Passport), Isuzu enjoyed good sales volume through much of the 1990’s. Thing is, other manufacturers very quickly developed models superior to Isuzu’s offerings. By model year 2000, Isuzu was outclassed on every front.
Only two Isuzu models came to the United States for 2008, both of which were rebadged as GM products. Isuzu withdrew from the U.S. market in 2009.
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