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Isuzu Confirms Joint Plan With GM

September 9, 1998

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Japan will build a $300 million diesel engine production plant with General Motors Corp. near Dayton. Isuzu spokesman Hiromi Koyahata said today the plant on Moraine is expected to be completed in 2000 and employ 700 workers.

Isuzu will own 60 percent of the venture, which will be called DMAX Ltd., said Koyahata. GM will own 40 percent.

Koyahata said the plant will produce 100,000 engines a year beginning in August 2000 and increase to 200,000 engines a year by 2004. He said all engines will be used for small trucks to be produced by GM.

GM Chairman Jack Smith and Isuzu Chairman Kazuhira Seki were scheduled to appear today in Moraine but GM spokeswoman Marilynn Rowe had declined Tuesday to elaborate on what would be announced.

GM owns 37.5 percent of Isuzu, which has 13,520 employees worldwide and is Japan’s largest truck maker. Isuzu began making diesel engines in 1936.

The new plant would push GM’s total investment in Moraine to more than $1 billion over the past four years.

An existing GM diesel engine plant in Moraine is the automaker’s only such plant in North America and employs about 500 workers. It makes 6.5-liter diesel engines used in CK trucks, Suburbans, two-and four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and full-sized vans.

In 1992, GM considered closing the plant and moving the work to Mexico, but scrapped the plan after demand for diesel engines picked up.

It is not clear what effect a new engine plant would have on the existing one.

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