Isuzu Motors, in a rare move by a Japanese automaker, on Jan. 30, 2008, says it will exit the U.S. light-vehicle market, effective Jan. 31, 2009.
Isuzu Motors America decided to leave because longtime partner General Motors, then careening toward bankruptcy, decided to stop building the Ascender SUV and its small-pickup platform.
At the time, Isuzu marketed only two models -- the five-seat Ascender, which was based on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and the i-series pickup, a derivative of GM's small pickup line.
"It has always been our intention to remain in the U.S. market," Terry Maloney, Isuzu Motor America's CEO, said in a statement at the time. "However, we were unable to secure any commercially viable replacements for these vehicles."