Isuzu Commercial Truck establishes distributor in Canada

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Beginning this year, commercial vehicle customers throughout Canada will be able to purchase and have serviced the Isuzu line of class 3-5 low-cab-forward medium-duty trucks. Isuzu Commercial Truck of America has established Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada, a distributor for its operations in Canada. The new company, ICTC, will import and sell Isuzu commercial vehicles and provide parts and service support.

“Establishing the Isuzu brand in Canada will give us the opportunity to offer great trucks in a growing market, giving customers more choices when it comes to selecting the right truck for their business,” says Makoto Kawahara, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, based in Cerritos, Calif. “We’re excited to share our products and philosophy of customer service with commercial truck buyers in Canada.”

An Isuzu distributor in Canada will offer direct sales and service support, giving Canadian customers greater access to Isuzu trucks and customer service. Previously, Isuzu-built LCF vehicles were available in Canada only as GMC W-Series-branded trucks. “Customers may have been familiar with our products, but not the Isuzu brand,” Kawahara says. “With ICTC, the Isuzu brand will strengthen an already well-established and respected product.”

Isuzu Motors Limited plans to boost and strengthen its sales organizations, aiming to expand overseas sales of its commercial vehicles. In Canada, the plan is to further increase sales by establishing an Isuzu network of dealers, in addition to the existing sales network of GMC W-Series dealers. The vehicles will be imported by ICTC from the United States and marketed through a sales network of local dealers.

ICTC is capitalized at one million Canadian dollars (about 100 million yen) and is 100 percent held by Isuzu Commercial Trucks of America, the U.S. subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan. ICTC will have offices in Toronto.

The Canadian commercial truck market for classes 3-7 is about 16,000 units, of which the low-cab-forward segment represents about 14 percent. Sales of the Isuzu product badged as the GMC W-Series, sold by GMC Commercial Dealers in Canada, were 700 units in 2006. The new company will sell both gas and diesel low-cab-forward trucks in classes 3-5. Projected 2007 sales for the combined GMC and Isuzu networks is 1,000 units, with a goal of 2,000 by 2010.