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Isuzu Releases N-series Trucks for Landscape Market

At the much-concluded Super Bowl in Las Vegas, General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck LLC launched its latest light-duty N-Series commercial trucks. The truck series for the model year 2008 is aimed at a more specific application to include landscaping.

The 2008 Isuzu N-Series features more cab room, enhanced safety features and even greater power. It also offers a more spacious cab with more side-to-side and front-to-back room to promote comfortable travel. The vehicle also holds a sophisticated dashboard with a full complement of easy-to-see gauges and warning lamps. There is also the existence of an easy-to-remove panel for easy access to the wiper motor and linkage as well as other features like Isuzu cold air intake filters, electrical cab connections, storage areas like seat backs, dashboard, glove box, overhead storage shelves and a rear storage organizer.

Other features also include large map pockets built into the new, fully trimmed door panels and cup holders in the center console for oversized drinks and in the dash for regular-sized cans and cups. Optional equipment includes radios, GPS systems and rear view cameras. The truck also is compliant with the more stringent emissions standards that were enforced at the beginning of the year.

In United States, the main rival of the N-Series include the Bering MS, Chevrolet W-Series, GMC W-Series, Mitsubishi Fuso FE and the UD 1200/1300/1400. In Japan, its main competitors include the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter, UD Atlas, Toyota Dyna, and the Hino Dutro.

The Isuzu N-Series comes in gas and diesel models. The choice of the vehicle model could play an essential difference in operating cost. "Landscapers and (those in) other industries still don't understand that vehicles that are produced in this country or sold in this country, that are produced after the first of January 2007 have to meet these strict standards," said Todd Bloom, the vice president for marketing for General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck LLC. The price of the vehicle may increase from $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the variants.

"I need to attack different applications," Bloom added. "Let's say for instance I do not offer my crew cab in a gas version. Many (landscape contractors) are putting (fewer) miles on vehicles a year. I will open up a whole new market in the landscaping industry when I start selling the crew cab in the gas version. It will be a huge, huge success. The majority of my incremental sales are going to come from landscaping and some construction."

"Isuzu customers who operate their vehicles less than 30,000 miles a year are finding that our gasoline-powered LCFs provide them with substantial savings - up to $7,000 on their initial investment when compared to the same truck equipped with diesel power," said Joe Totaro, the executive vice president and general manager, General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck LLC.

On the other hand, Isuzu's diesel expertise has been established for the last couple of years in Japan. "We have 60,000 (diesel) vehicles in Japan," Bloom said. "We understand this technology backwards and forwards." "It basically is to the point where it's incredibly clean," Bloom noted. "There is no more particulate matter at all that comes out f the back of a diesel truck. It does add weight; it adds complexity; it adds cost."

"Nobody can mess around with the vehicle," Bloom concluded. "You just can't do those things anymore."

About The Author Given her background on cars as an auto insurance director, Lauren Woods finds the world of cars to be constantly changing.
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