Isuzu sends new N-Series to dealers

June 27, 2007
The redesigned 2008 Isuzu Class 3 through 5 N-Series will be in dealer showrooms within 45 days, according to officials from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America (ICTA)

Santa Barbara. The redesigned 2008 Isuzu Class 3 through 5 N-Series will be in dealer showrooms within 45 days, according to officials from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America (ICTA). Rolling out the first new N-Series to arrive in North America for a press tour here this week, Isuzu’s U.S. and Canadian marketing arm also announced ambitious plans to double sales of the low-cab-forward (LCF) models to 50,000 units a year by 2010 and strongly hinted that it would bring a Class 2 or “light” Class 3 model to market in the near future.

The 2008 N-Series, which is also sold with GMC and Chevrolet badges as the W-Series, will be offered in both diesel- and gasoline-powered models with both standard and crew cabs.

The Isuzu 5.2L 4-cyl. diesel engine uses cooled EGR and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to meet the new Federal emissions requirements, and offers an increase in both horsepower (205 hp, up from 190) and peak torque (441 lbs. ft., up from 387). Combined with a new Aisin A465 six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive, the new diesel powertrain improves fuel economy over previous models despite the new emissions systems, according to ICTA officials.

The gasoline option uses General Motors’ Vortec 6.0L V-8, which also sees a power increase for 2008, delivering 325 hp.and 360 lbs ft. peak torque. The transmission for the gas N-Series is the Hydro-Matic 4L80 four-speed automatic with lockup torque converter and overdrive.

The new Isuzu N-Series cab increases interior space over the previous design, while also adding a number of driver comfort and convenience features. Highlights include a new dashboard with high-visibility gauges and a 5-din opening to accommodate a range of entertainment, communications and safety options. Storage has also been increased inside the new cab. Structurally, the new cab improves corrosion protection and has increased rigidity for better safety and durability.

On the business side, ITCA executive vp & gm Joseph Toturo said company plans for the North American market call for doubling sales from its current 25,000 units a year by 2010 as part of Isuzu’s overall goal to expand truck sales outside of Japan. He added that the company would be “less dependent” on strategic partnerships such as its relationship with GMC in moving towards those goals.

As the market leader in Class 3-5 LCF truck sales, the company will not be able to meet those North American goals without expanding its product line, according to Todd Bloom, ICTA vp of marketing. With plans to open a new truck plant in Birmingham, AL, within the next 18 months, the company could move down to lower GVWs, he said. Isuzu does not have light-duty van in its current worldwide lineup, but it does produce a Class 2 NKR low-cab-forward truck. Due to excise taxes on imported Class 2 trucks, it’s most likely any new Isuzu model for the U.S. would be a “light” Class 3 with GVW ratings in the range of 10,500 to 11,000 lbs., according to Bloom.

About the Author

Jim Mele

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!