Iconic Isuzu Truck Model Celebrates 50

Iconic Isuzu Model Celebrates 50

Isuzu Trucks' iconic N Series model (known as ELF in Japan) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and continues to dominate light truck sales in the majority of global markets in which it competes.

N Series models have been sold in over 140 countries and last year accounted for almost 50 per cent of all Japanese global light truck sales, with 185,000 units (figure does not include Japanese domestic sales).

Introduced in 1959, the N Series quickly found favour in a wide variety of applications thanks to its durability and superior quality.

Constant innovation was another reason for its early success: in 1960 the N Series became the first light duty truck in Japan to be equipped with a diesel engine, and in 1973 it was the first in its class to offer a direct injection diesel.

The 1959 model ELF had a two tonne payload and was powered by a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder overhead valve petrol engine with four speed manual transmission.

A far cry from the utilitarian original, Australia's 2009 Isuzu N Series models boast impressive standard features including anti-lock brakes, driver's airbag, anti-skid regulator (traction control), electric mirrors and windows and multi-information display system amongst other creature comforts.

The trucks are available in a choice of three powerful yet fuel-efficient turbocharged diesel engines, which meet stringent Euro IV emissions standards, while Isuzu's innovative AMT (automated manual transmission) is available in many models.

According to Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) Marketing Manager, Jeff Birdseye, 50 years of the Isuzu N Series is an extraordinary milestone.

"It is extremely unusual for a model range to have such longevity," Mr Birdseye said.

"However such has been the enduring popularity of the model range, there has been little cause to abandon the nameplate; the N Series has been responsible for a large share of Isuzu truck sales globally over a long period of time.

"Although the N Series has only been sold in Australia for 21 years, it has also made a strong impact since becoming available here, establishing itself as the benchmark by which all other light trucks are judged."

According to Truck Tracker November 2009 year to date figures, the N Series holds 41.4 per cent of the light truck market, more than double that of its nearest competitor.

To see the full line of Isuzu Trucks for Australia, go to www.isuzu.com.au.

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