Assembly of Isuzu N-Series by Spartan Motors Begins in April

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. announced that production of gasoline-powered Isuzu N-Series trucks will begin on April 18 at the Spartan Motors, Inc., facility in Charlotte, Michigan.

Gasoline-powered NPR (12,000-lb. GVWR) and NPR-HD (14,500-lb. GVWR) trucks will be available in Single Cab models with wheelbases of 109, 132.5, 150 and 176 inches, and in Crew Cab configurations with 150- and 176-inch wheelbases. Units are expected to arrive at Isuzu dealerships beginning in early May.

The vehicles will complement the diesel-powered Isuzu N-Series trucks already available.

N-Gas models will be powered by a General Motors Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine that produces 297 horsepower at 4,300 rpm and generates 372 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.

In addition, a version of the engine compatible with compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be available.

Both versions of the gasoline powerplant will be mated to a GM Powertrain six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive. Previous N-Series gasoline models offered only a four-speed automatic.

“We are very excited to reintroduce our line of gasoline-powered N-Series trucks to the marketplace, with a new 6-speed transmission that improves fuel economy and performance,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “With these new models—and the introduction of the all-new Reach commercial van—we are proud that our dealers will once again offer the broadest range of low-cab-forward solutions in the industry.”

ICTA also announced the development of a revolutionary next-generation commercial van combining a body designed by the Utilimaster Corporation, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, with Isuzu’s NPR diesel chassis. Full production of the new commercial van is expected to begin in the second half of 2011.

Skinner added, “We are especially excited that Spartan Motors—one of the industry’s most respected builders of high-quality customer chassis—will be assembling our N-Series gas trucks. Their quality workmanship will be an enormous benefit to us, to our dealers, and to the end users of our vehicles.”

Gasoline-powered N-Series trucks had been assembled by GM at its plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, until the plant ceased operations in 2009. In March 2010, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announced that an agreement had been reached with GM for the supply of transmissions and gasoline engines to be used for gas-powered Isuzu NPR and NPR-HD trucks in both Single Cab and Crew Cab models, and that these vehicles would be reintroduced for the 2012 model year. The company announced that Spartan Motors had been selected to assemble the trucks in April 2010.

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