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Isuzu Motors Ltd., often referred to simply as Isuzu (Japanese: [isz], /isuzu/), is a Japanese multinational vehicle manufacturer with headquarters in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan. Production, promotion, and retail sales of Isuzu commercial vehicles and diesel engines are its main business activities.


The beginning of Isuzu Motors may be traced back to 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd. sought to collaborate on the production of vehicles with the Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Company. The next step was reached in 1918 when a technical partnership with Wolseley Motors Limited was formed, giving rise to exclusive rights for the manufacture and marketing of Wolseley automobiles from knock-down kits throughout East Asia. The Fifteen A9 15/40 P, a Wolseley type, was the first passenger automobile ever made in Japan. It was built at the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipyard at the Fukagawa Factory in 1919. Two years later, the CP truck from Wolseley was introduced; 550 of them were produced by 1927.

The Kanto earthquake that struck Japan in 1923 left the country in ruins and rendered the nascent transportation infrastructure—which was mainly dependent on government-owned railroads—useless because of the bent lines. To help in recovery and reconstruction, large construction vehicles were imported from American manufacturers GMC and Ford, and the firm aimed to participate by making locally made construction and heavy-duty vehicles. The business debuted its "Sumida P-type truck" with a 2-ton load capacity and an A6 engine in 1927, as well as its "Sumida M-type No. 1 bus" with a 1-ton load capacity and an A4 engine. Due to the proximity of the facility in Fukagawa to the Sumida River, the name "sumida" was chosen.

The name of IHI Corporation was changed to Jidosha Kogyo Co., Ltd. in 1929 after it split off a portion of its manufacturing operations and joined with DAT Automobile Manufacturing Inc. (a forerunner of Nissan) (Automobile Industries Co., Ltd.) This company's products are promoted under the names "Sumida" and "Chiyoda," which have specific meanings in Japan. Sumida is the name of a river that flows through Tokyo about 3.59 kilometers (2.23 miles) east of the Imperial Palace in the Chiyoda area, where the Imperial Palace is situated. The Automobile Industry Co., Ltd. opened the Tsurumi Factory in 1934. In 1937, Automobile Industries was reformed and transformed into a new business, Tokyo Automobile Industries Co., Ltd., which was established with a capital of one million yen.

Realizing the need to update Japan's transportation system, the business kept producing heavy-duty trucks and passenger buses. Along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, it was one of the main suppliers for the Imperial Japanese Army and had a strong corporate tie to the Yasuda Zaibatsu. The Sumida M.2593 armored personnel carrier was one of the vehicles it built for the war effort. Hino Heavy Industries was separated from Tokyo Automobile Industries in 1942 and established as a distinct company.  After a meeting with the Japanese Government's Ministry of Trade and Industry following World War II, the firm was eventually christened Isuzu (after the Isuzu River) in 1949. (MITI).

Isuzu: Landing

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