Isuzu Says Sayonara to America

Japanese automaker bailing as passenger sales fall to nearly nothing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 1:14 PM CST

(Newser) – Japanese automaker Isuzu, which brought the US such treasures as the SUV and fictional car salesman Joe Isuzu, is closing up shop in the US, thanks to its nearly non-existent sales. Of the 16.1 million cars sold last year, just 7,098 were Isuzus. Said actor David Leisure, who portrayed the famous huckster: "I thought they already had stopped selling here."

“It’s a shame,” one automotive researcher tells the Los Angeles Times. “From a historical perspective, they were quite significant.” Though the company will continue to sell commercial trucks stateside, the move shocked many within Isuzu’s US headquarters. "I'm still digesting all the information," a spokesman said. Added a dealer, "We hold out hope that a surprise new product will come." (Read more auto industry stories.)