TOKYO -- Isuzu Motors Ltd.'s North American sales will rise 15.5 percent this year to 29,000, the truckmaker predicts. Almost all of the growth will be in commercial vehicles.
Isuzu's sales of SUVs and pickups in the United States plummeted 55.2 percent last year to 12,177. But Basil Drossos, an Isuzu executive vice president, asserted that U.S. SUV and pickup sales have "kind of stabilized."
Globally, Isuzu's sales will rise 6.8 percent to 672,500, the company forecasts. It sees increased sales in all of its regional markets.
Isuzu's biggest market again will be Southeast Asia, led by sales of pickups in Thailand. Southeast Asian sales will edge up 0.2 percent to 360,000.
Japan will be Isuzu's second largest market, up 7.5 percent to 102,500.
European sales will rise 10.7 percent this year to 17,100, the company predicts. Of that, heavy-duty truck sales will double to 100 from 48 last year. The rest will be medium-duty commercial vehicles.
Production at Ispol, Isuzu's diesel-engine plant in Poland, will drop 33.9 percent to 158,000 engines from 238,717 in 2005. Isuzu President Yoshinori Ida attributes the fall to a model changeover for one of the cars that uses Ispol's engines.
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