Currently Isuzu's model line consists of Ascender SUVs and its i-series pickup trucks. In 1999, Isuzu sales peaked at 103,629 vehicles. Since then, sales have dropped precipitously - just 7,098 vehicles were sold in 2007, a 93% decline, reports Bloomberg. Isuzu is the first Asian car maker to leave the U.S. market since Daewoo's bankruptcy in 2002.
Hard times for Isuzu may be a sign of things to come for auto makers re-entering the U.S. market, like Alfa Romeo. The declining American economy combined with an already stiffly competitive auto market may be a recipe for disaster. In terms of sheer probability, Alfa could hardly have chosen a worse time to return to the U.S.
Isuzu initially rose to success in the 1980s, as it helped to pioneer the SUV segment with its highly successful Trooper. Without a ground-breaking segment to spearhead - or a particularly inspiring vehicle lineup, for that matter - Alfa Romeo may find the U.S. a cold and unwelcoming place.