Isuzu Motors Ltd. is a Japanese manufacturer of passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and diesel engine components. Though Isuzu’s commercial and industrial applications have historically been more successful in most markets than Isuzu cars, the brand has released plenty of passenger vehicle models, including Isuzu trucks and Isuzu pickup trucks. The company was named Isuzu, after the Isuzu River, in 1934. Most Isuzu passenger vehicles, including the Isuzu truck line, have been manufactured in the company’s production facilities in Fujisawa, Tochigi, and Hokkaido, Japan. However, Isuzu vehicles have also been produced in other countries, and Isuzu passenger cars have been sold in many countries and regions around the world. In later years, many Isuzu vehicles were actually produced and sold under a partnership with General Motors. This arrangement was especially prevalent in the brand’s European markets. Many of Isuzu’s pickup truck models were not available in North America, even though the company supplied diesel drivetrain components for many other vehicles that were sold in North America.
The Isuzu Faster is a solid example of an Isuzu pickup truck model, as it was in production for 30 years. The Isuzu Faster was a compact pickup that featured a front-engine layout and was available in rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations, as well as a long wheelbase model, in addition to the regular wheelbase model. The Faster was based on the Isuzu Florian. Between its introduction in 1972 and its cancellation in 2002, the Isuzu Faster went through three generations. In most regions outside of Japan, the Isuzu Faster was renamed the Isuzu KB, and in some areas, the vehicle was sold through General Motors, rebranded as a Chevrolet. The Rodeo badging was introduced on some versions of the Isuzu truck in the second generation, and by the third generation, the Isuzu Rodeo name became more common, although this was a different vehicle than the truck that was called the Isuzu Rodeo in the North American market. Badging of the Isuzu Faster varied widely around the world; in various markets, it was sold as a Chevy, Opel, Bedford, and Vauxhall, based on General Motors’ global distribution. After its cancellation, the North American market did not get a direct replacement for this Isuzu pickup truck, although most other regions got the Isuzu D-Max truck as a successor.
Another Isuzu pickup truck, the Hombre, was introduced in 1996 and was in production for four years. Although this model was more commonly known in North America as the Chevy S-10 and GMC Sonoma, the Isuzu version of this truck was produced alongside those versions, specifically for the North American market. Limited equipment and feature options compared to the competition resulted in this Isuzu pickup’s early cancellation.