TOKYO - Isuzu Motors Ltd.'s next-generation utility vehicle for developing markets may be built at General Motors factories in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa, and badged and sold as a GM product.
The vehicle, code-named 160, uses a platform that already is used for pickups built in South American and African plants, said Kazuhira Seki, Isuzu chairman and CEO.
GM and Isuzu are still discussing where it will be built and which company's distribution channel or channels will sell it, he said.
Isuzu currently builds its Asian Utility Vehicle in Indonesia and the Philippines, where it is sold as the Panther and the High Lander, respectively.
Development work on the successor model, the 160, was frozen for a year because of the Asian economic crisis. Development has resumed, however, and the new model should be ready for production in 2000, said Tom Matsubayashi, executive director and senior executive of Isuzu's RV Product Planning Office & Design Center.
Isuzu showed a Chevrolet-badged 160 at a joint press conference with GM and iSuzuki Motor Co. GM owns 49 percent of Isuzu and 10 percent of Suzuki.