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Isuzu Motors’ Subsidiary To Build Plant in Kentucky

August 5, 1985

TOKYO (AP) _ Isuzu Truck of America Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s major truck maker, Isuzu Motors, will build its first U.S. plant in Russellville, Ky., a company spokesman said today.

The plant will assemble the chassis for medium-size buses, said Keiji Tsuchiya, a public affairs official at Isuzu Motors. Production is to begin next spring on 645,600 square feet of land bought in June, Tsuchiya said.

The subsidiary, owned 80 percent by Isuzu Motors and 20 percent by the trading firm C. Itoh and Co., has headquarters in California. Since its establishment last year, it has been importing small Isuzu Elf trucks and medium-size buses.

The new plant’s chassis production will start at about 300 a year and increasing to between 600 and 700 in three years, Tsuchiya said. He said the chassis will be supplied to American dealers for use in assembling buses and camping vehicles.

He said the Kentucky location ″is close to our 80 dealers″ and the South ″is actively promoting corporate investment.″

Nissan Motor Co. produces 200,000 cars and trucks a year at its plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Japanese news reports have listed Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina as possible sites for the first U.S. plant of Toyota Motors, Japan’s biggest automaker.

Isuzu Motors is owned 34.2 percent by General Motors and supplies GM with medium-size trucks called the GMC Forward and the Chevrolet Tiltmaster.

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