Isuzu cars are made by Isuzu Motors Limited, a company based in Japan. Isuzu was founded in 1910 as the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Ltd. According to the Isuzu website, the company built ships until partnering with Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Company, then began making trucks.
Shortly after getting into the truck business, the company received a license to build British-based Wolseley vehicles. This marked the beginning of many collaborations with foreign companies. In 1922, the company developed its first car. In 1935, after many advancements in technology and improving materials, a prototype bus was developed. This bus was the first of its kind, because it was equipped with air brakes and an underfloor engine.
Two years later, after several different mergers, the Tokyo Jidosha Kogyo Company was formed. The company started out with an emphasis on diesel engines, and by the 1940s became known in the medium and heavy truck business. During this time the company changed its name to Isuzu, which is the name of a river meaning "fifty bells pealing in harmony and celebrations."
As the company grew, many investors offered to partner with Isuzu. The Buick Opel and Chevrolet Luv are some of the models that Isuzu made jointly with General Motors and were the first to be sold in the United States. In 1983, General Motors became larger partners with Isuzu and opened American Isuzu Motors Inc.
In January 2009, Isuzu, facing slumping sales, stopped selling their light vehicles in the United States.