• Oct 1st 2007 at 3:01PM
  • 12
Toyota announced today that it will spend $373 million on a deal with Isuzu that will transfer 5.9% of the truck- and diesel-maker to the giant Japanese automaker. Toyota's goal in purchasing a stake in Isuzu is to bolster its diesel portfolio, which apparently lags behind other major automakers like cross-town rival Honda who announced in September it would have diesel-powered passenger cars for sale in the U.S. within three years.
We always expected that Toyota would rely on its own Hino Motors commercial truck subsidiary for a diesel engine to power a heavy-duty version of its new Tundra pickup, but Hino is not prepared to make smaller diesel engines for passenger cars and potentially diesel hybrids. Isuzu offers Toyota the know-how and production capacity for diesel engines that are smaller than 2.5-liters, which makes the purchase seem like a perfect fit.

Mitsubishi will now become the largest single shareholder in Isuzu with 9.7% of the stock, followed by trading house Itochu Corp. with 7.2% and Toyota with 5.9%. GM sold all of its stock in Isuzu back in April, which amounted to 7.9%. Today's announcement marks the second time Toyota has swooped in and picked up shares in a company that GM has cast off, the first being Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. required]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone here keeps forgetting that Isuzu builds HALF of the world's diesel engines. So take Toyota and roll them up with Honda, then drop in MB and VW, and you still can't touch Isuzu. If there is a company that has the expertise and ability to build a good diesel powerplant no matter what you need, Isuzu is it. GM was stupid for getting rid of Isuzu, but I guess they needed the cash. The worst decision GM ever made was to port the D-Max pickup without the Diesel engine. Hell, it took effort on GM's part to get away from the diesel engine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, if Fiat is any example of what happens to GM "castoffs", Toyota should see a healthy return on their purchase...even if they never get any product know-how from Isuzu.

      Actually, Honda has been building/selling diesel powered cars for years, although for not nearly as long as Toyota has been building them. Is it really so hard to engineer a suitable diesel for pickup truck/SUV use that buying more of Isuzu is a sound investment? I know Isuzu is supposed to be one of the world leaders in diesel engine technology and that is one small reason that GM diesels are considered to be more reliable than many of the current Ford diesels...but aside from their not being Japanese, wouldn't someone like Cummins offer more in the way of diesel expertise?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I totally agree Koba.
      Isuzu has the manufacturing and stucture of building many different types of diesel engines.
      The profit Isuzu has sustained over the years (the last 5 in particular) from diesel engines and diesel emission scrubber technology has been keeping them afloat even after a terrible marrige with GM.
      As a matter of fact its those sales that allowed Isuzu to buy back its OWN shares from GM to eventually divorce itself from them entirely as of very recently.
      I can also see that a marrige with Isuzu along with fresh shares of newly aquired Subaru stock (whom is currently working on diesel/diesel turbo hybrid engines as I write this), one could imagine why Toyota had its best interests in buying into a company like Isuzu for diesel engines.
      Isuzu has a great track record and has been in the business a very long time.
      Obviously It leverages Toyota further in the market as well giving them additional plants availability and quick market production of diesel powerplants.
      Toyota seems to have a plan it seems.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone is clamoring to diesels,I filled my diesel yesterday at 2.50 a gallon,gas was 2.08,all these new diesels better get damn good mileage,I like my Duramax, but diesels are losing there advantage.
      • 8 Years Ago
      or V6/V8 diesels which Toyota doesnt have...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does Izuzu still have partial ownership of the SIA plant in Indiana with Subaru that Toyota is heavily investing in to build Camary's? I wonder if that had anything to do with the purchase as well?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bring back the VehiCross! (Not.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      #6: don't assume Totota will manufacture diesel hybrids in the short term. A key issue with both diesels and hybrids is their cost versus conventional gas engine, and with the new technology to meet the EPA standards, diesels may cost about the same more than a gas hybrid, due to Totyota's efforts to reduce costs on them. Totota does have top diesel technology, but they are smartly (as usual) covering themselves in either concept, depending on how the market demand develops. A diesel hybrid would have a high premium, and not likely worth it in the current marketplace.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I own since new, a 1985 Toy 4X4 turbo diesel. This was the first year a turbo was put on the 2.4. Prior to 85 the diesel was in the 2wd and 4x4 without the turbo. The diesel was no longer imported after 87 for any of the Japanese manufactures. I believe it was a tax thing. Hino made the four cylinder for these trucks, the Land Cruiser(FJ) and their own commercial trucks. They still make diesels as well as trucks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Right so to put things straight, honda didn't start making diesels until a couple of years ago, and as someone mentioned its the 2.2 lr. I use to own a 3 lr TD Hilux surf (4 runner) and that was a sweet engine (1998 model)..The have diesels in Prado (common rail 3.0 lr), they have 2.5 lr TDs (hilux vigo), they have 2.2 l TD (Rav 4, avensis etc), a 1.4 and a 2.0 ltr TD (Corolla) all common rail (very clean technology) and of course a straight line 6 (4.2 ltr TD) for the Land cruiser. So ahmen toyota does have diesels much more as someone said than honda.....
      • 8 Years Ago
      First Subaru now Isuzu... Is Toyota gonna buy everything GM drops off?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yesterday there was an atricle here about Ford bringing diesel to USA. And i wrote that it would be silly to think that while Ford brings those to USA that Toyota and Honda will just seat there and do nothing. It seems i was correct. Yes Ford and GM will bring diesel cars to USA in 2 or 3 years, but so will Toyota.....but Toyota still has HYBRID. So it is clear that soon we will get a diesel Hybrid.