Flashback: Isuzu's First Passenger Car

1922: ISUZU Motors’ Antecedent Company Assembles Japan’s first Passenger Car – The Wolseley A9

The history of Isuzu Motors can be traced back to its earliest antecedent company: Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering, established in 1889. In 1918, the company diversified into car-making, using capital amassed from its highly profitable shipbuilding business to launch a passenger-vehicle production joint venture with iconic British auto maker Wolseley. Four years later, Tokyo Ishikawajima began rolling out the Wolseley A9 – the first passenger car ever made in the land of the rising Sun.

The vehicle proved immensely popular, even more so in its second year of production: when the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake devastated Tokyo and the port city of Yokohama, automobiles such as the A9 demonstrated their potential to speed the pace of rescue and recovery following the disaster. The A9 was followed in 1924 by the first Japanese-built Wolseley CP 5-tonne payload truck, which went on to become the official military truck of the Imperial Japanese Government.

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