Marking 20 years in the United States and 18 as the nation’s leading seller of low cab forward (LCF) trucks, Isuzu Truck plans to meet growing industry competition with new and improved models, new technologies, and aggressive marketing efforts, company officials announced.

Jim Underwood, president of General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck, LLC (GMICT), projects the market to increase by 10 percent, with the potential for a LCF market expansion to 60,000-80,000 units in a few years. Isuzu and GM-badged vehicles account for 70 percent of the LCF market.

Challenges for the company, said Underwood, will come from manufacturers such as Ford and Mitsubishi. Nevertheless, GMICT expects to sell more than 28,000 commercial trucks this year, a 20-percent sales growth in Classes 3-5 and a 30-percent gain in Classes 6-7.

Conventional Cab Offered
Isuzu’s new 2005 H-Series debuts a conventional cab lineup. Three models are available: HRT (Class 6), HVR (Class 7), and HXR (Class 8) with single- and tandem-axle options. Three-person regular cab and six-person crew cab configurations are offered. The H-Series is powered by the Isuzu 6HK1-TC inline six-cylinder diesel engine, with 200-300 horsepower and a range of 520-860 lb.-ft. of torque. The 6HK1-TC engine offers a B10 rating of 410,000 miles.

Available through Isuzu H-Series dealers in the U.S., the new truck line also features Allison automatic or Eaton manual transmissions. Offering a turning diameter as tight as 44 feet, the H-Series’ sloped-hood design and large windshield provide maneuverability and improved visibility, according to Todd Bloom, GMICT VP of marketing.

The H-Series and gasoline-powered N-Series models are manufactured in the U.S. Diesel-powered N-Series units are manufactured in Japan.

New Model Introduced
For the 2006-model year, Isuzu expands its N-Series of LCF trucks, adding a new NPR diesel with 12,000-lb. GVW rating certified in all 50 states. The N-Series has also been freshened with a more stylish exterior design and more comfortable interior, according to Bloom. The N-Series offers a 5.2 4HK1-TC turbocharged diesel or Vortec 6000 6.0L gasoline engine.

Warranty coverage on N-Series - the bulk of Isuzu U.S. sales - diesel models has been extended to 36 months, unlimited mileage, covering all major vehicle components, said Bloom.