General Motors, Isuzu to discuss new ute partnership

General Motors and Isuzu are considering developing an all-new ute together, the Detroit-based automaker has confirmed.
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Reuters reports the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter negotiations over the potential next-generation pick-up, although neither have revealed a timeline or other details of the agreement.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper believes the partnership will be formalised later this month following a meeting between GM CEO Dan Akerson and Isuzu president Susumu Hosoi.

GM and Isuzu have collaborated on commercial vehicles in the past. The first-generation Isuzu D-Max was developed alongside the third-generation Holden Colorado/Rodeo, with the two differentiated by little other than their badges, while the current versions of both utes also share the same new platform.

The two manufacturers have a long history of collaboration. They first joined forces in the early 1970s, when GM took a stake in the Japanese company. GM increased its share to 49 per cent in 1999 but gradually reduced that before eventually cutting financial ties in 2006.