Isuzu Mulling U.S. Plant For Small Trucks

Company says it will build a second truck plant if demand continues to be strong.

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd. is considering building a new assembly plant for small trucks in the United States if North American sales volume doubles from the current level, company officials said.

Isuzu President Yoshinori Ida disclosed the possibility during a media preview of its new truck in Yokohama, just east of Tokyo, according to company spokesman Yukio Hirano.

Ida told reporters Isuzu may consider building a new assembly plant if sales of its small trucks in the North American market reach around 50,000. Last year, Isuzu sold a combined 25,000 small trucks in the U.S. and Canada, Hirano said.

The company did not disclose other details, including where and how soon a new plant will be built.

Tokyo-based Isuzu currently operates a U.S. plant in Janesville, Wis., producing about 4,700 small trucks a year.

Isuzu has long been allied with U.S. automaker General Motors Corp., but GM sold its entire 7.9 percent stake in the Japanese company in April.

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