Isuzu i-series pickup playing in the sand

General Motors initially wanted to buy one-third of Isuzu Motors Ltd, which would give it the right to veto board decisions, but has scaled back how much of the Japanese company it might try to buy, according to a new Reuters report.

At current stock prices, GM would have paid more than $3 billion for a controlling share of the truckmaker, which specializes in small trucks and diesel powertrains. GM is now considering buying a 10 percent share, anonymous sources tell Reuters, which would make it the largest single owner of stock in the company. Toyota and Volkswagen both have smaller shares of Isuzu.

GM once owned nearly half of Isuzu but sold off its last 7.9 percent of the company in 2006.

The GM/Isuzu partnership helped bring vehicles to the U.S. like the Geo Storm, Chevrolet LUV, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. But there's no reason to expect a new small pickup for America this time around.

The potential deal, which sources tell Reuters is "very much preliminary", could open up the Southeast Asia market, where GM is currently a bit player. Additionally, GM could help Isuzu develop a hybrid or other environmentally friendly vehicles. It's almost enough to make us wonder why they ever sold it in the first place.
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