One of the technical highlights of the last generation GMT-800 full-size trucks from GM
was the Duramax turbo-diesel V-8. This strong, efficient, refined engine was miles ahead of the Navistar engine in the Ford trucks
and the Cummins
engine that Dodge
uses. The Duramax diesels
are built by a General Motors-Isuzu joint-venture in Ohio called DMAX ltd. However, in the last year and a half, GM has been extricating themselves from most of their Japanese partnerships including Isuzu
. Earlier this week, Isuzu announced that they were hooking up with Toyota
and would work with Toyota on developing diesel engines for use in Toyota vehicles.
This caused the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun to report that Isuzu was asking GM to sell their stake in the DMAX and another venture in Poland to Toyota. Today, both Isuzu and Toyota denied the report and in fact said that the issue had not even been discussed. The Japanese paper's report did say that the plant would continue to supply engines to GM after a Toyota deal, which would be critical to GM's truck programs. GM CEO Rick Wagoner is in Tokyo today so it remains to be seen what will happen.
[Source: Automotive News - subscription required]