The company now known as Isuzu Motors was created in 1916 as the Tokyo Gas Company. Isuzu vehicles are particularly marketed to the commercial community and diesel engines are also produced in great quantities from their Tokyo headquarters. Their commercial line is quite popular throughout Japan as well as across most of Europe. During the 1930s, Isuzu began to focus on vehicles that were designed for the general public. However, the onset of the Second World War and a lack of a viable domestic market forced Isuzu to search for outside investment. This created rather turbulent times for the company during the postwar period and well into the late 1960s.
It was not until 1973 when American car manufacturer General Motors was seen to take a significant stake in Isuzu. This was a mutually beneficial relationship, for General Motors was now able to market its vehicles to the Japanese demographic and Isuzu saw its western presence grow significantly. This allowed for a resurgence of the brand into the 1980s and 1990s.
Still, Isuzu experienced tough competition from the American marketplace and throughout the latter half of the 1990s, sales began to steadily decline. Some said that this directly coincided with the takeover of General Motors to gain a controlling interest of the company.
As sales waned, many shops closed throughout the United States. This situation was further worsened by the global financial crisis of 2008 and the massive blow that American auto makers were dealt. While Isuzu has all but withdrawn its visible presence from the American market, it still enjoys popularity in Europe and in many Asian countries.