The company that would eventually go on to become Isuzu - Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipuilding and Engineering Co - started out by making licence-built Wolseleys between 1918 and 1927. With valuable experience gained, it turned its attention to making its own US-inspired cars until the onset of WW2. Various mergers and acquistions later, Isuzu Motors was born in 1949.
Its first self-designed production car, the Bellel, arrived in 1961, and was built alongside Isuzu's own version of the Hillman Minx. In 1971, General Motors took a stake in the company, and all subsequent Isuzus were based on its platforms, including the Gemini – a version of the GM T-Car that lent itself to became the basis of the well-regarded Piazza.