Isuzu Motors Ltd. is suspending plans to build a manufacturing plant in North America while the U.S. subprime loan mess shakes out, a Japanese news service reported today.
The U.S. market is expected to stay in the doldrums, and we cannot foresee a certain volume, Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi told Kyodo News.
Isuzu paid $7.8 million for a warehouse and land in Birmingham, Ala., in December 2006. But this past August, Hosoi said groundbreaking was put on hold while Isuzu weighed the possibility of setting up shop in Mexico instead.
A new plant in North America is part of Isuzus three-year growth strategy, which aims to increase revenues 21 percent to $17.4 billion. The plant was widely expected to manufacture Isuzus N-series commercial vehicles, which have a payload capacity of 3 to 4 tons.
Isuzu plans to carry on with its General Motors partnership to make SUVs and pickups. Isuzus entire light-vehicle lineup in the United States the i-series pickup and Ascender SUV is assembled by GM.
Hans Greimel contributed to this report