Isuzu Motors plans to take over U.S. truck business in Australia

Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors plans to take over U.S. auto maker General Motors' commercial truck business in Australia, an Isuzu spokesman said Monday.

Tokyo-based Isuzu Motors Ltd., which owns 60 percent of Isuzu-General Motors Australia Ltd., will make the company into a wholly owned subsidiary by acquiring GM's 40 percent stake, Isuzu spokesman Tadashi Ioka said.

Isuzu has not yet decided on the timing of the move but is in the final stages of reaching an agreement with GM, Ioka said.

The Australian joint venture markets Isuzu's Elf light truck and other vehicles Isuzu ships from Japan, making it a key part of the Japanese company's sales strategy in the Australian market.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business newspaper, reported Monday that Isuzu also expects to take a majority stake in a new truck unit to be spun off from a GM subsidiary in South Africa that makes and markets trucks.

Ioka said Isuzu was reevaluating its plans for South Africa but denied talks had taken place with GM on the truck operations there. Isuzu, in which GM owns an 8 percent stake, aims to become the core truck producer in the GM group, the Nikkei report said, AP reports.

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