September 26, 2014 / 8:15 AM / 4 years ago

GM and Isuzu to jointly develop mid-size pick-up truck

TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N) and Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors (7202.T) have agreed to jointly develop a mid-size pick-up truck for sale in major markets around the world excluding North America, the two companies said on Friday.

The companies, which have worked on trucks together in the past, are aiming to cut costs in their next generation mid-size pick-up by using more shared parts and jointly purchasing them, they said.

“The collaboration will enable us to leverage synergies and communise components to enable further reductions in cost,” GM spokeswoman Lori Arpin said.

Isuzu said in a statement: “The project will strengthen the light commercial vehicle business of GM and Isuzu.”

The two companies will each manufacture their own trucks. They have not decided on when the vehicles will go on sale, they said.

In the past, the two companies have developed trucks together such as the GM Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pick-up, sold as the i-Series by Isuzu, and the updated Isuzu D-Max in 2011.

GM and Isuzu did not discuss an equity alliance, said Isuzu spokesman Eiji Mitsuhashi. GM at one point held as much as 49 percent of Isuzu shares, though it then reduced its stake and sold off the remaining 7.9 percent for $300 million in 2006.

Automakers, facing high costs of developing new technologies, are keen to share the burden with other companies or in some cases re-badge vehicles made by others.

Fiat FIA.MI and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) said this month that the Japanese carmaker would produce a new pick-up for Fiat from 2016.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Chris Gallagher in Tokyo and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Writing by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Mark Potter

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