21 mar. 2016

Isuzu Geminett & Geminett II

Isuzu Geminett (Minkara).
Is always great to find new examples of badge-engineering, at least for me. I just love learning about alternate versions of cars we already know and love. So I was thrilled to discover today this, the Isuzu Geminett (いすゞ・ジェミネット) and Geminett II (いすゞ・ジェミネットII)!

The Geminett was a Suzuki Cultus sold starting in 1986, while the Geminett II was a Subaru Leone (Loyale in other countries). Both complemented Isuzu's lineup as commercial wagons. And they also predicted the road Isuzu took for its passenger cars, which were eventually replaced by rebadged Subarus and Hondas.

This sharing of cars, sold in an OEM basis is very common among Japanese automakers, to this day. Subaru itself would sell rebadged Nissan AD commercial wagons as Leone when that namplate was replaced by the Impreza.
I already knew of the one above: The Geminett-II (ジェミネット-II), which is really a Subaru Leone Wagon, available in 4WD just like under its original brand, but only with the 1.600 cc. engine (without the optional 1.8 Subaru sold).

The original source of the pictures is k3.dion.ne.jp/~leone_oc (more pictures down below). According to the Google translation of the Geminett-II article of the Japanese Wikipedia, it was sold from 1988 to 1993.

Last night I learned of the (logical) existence of the original Isuzu Geminett (いすゞ・ジェミネット), a discovery that  motivated this post: The full name on the brochure (below) is "Geminett 1.0 l. Business Van", here in the image, posted by @Clover4_EN07 on Twitter.
As you can surely see already, this is nothing but a Suzuki Cultus under the Isuzu badge. The following pictures come from minkara.carview.co.jp, and there are even more images from the same catalog here, which also contributed with images of the Geminett-II.

Here in Chile, the Cultus was known as Suzuki Forsa, here is a brochure from the late 80's.
As I already told you, these Geminett rebadges accompanied the "autenthically Isuzu" passenger models like the Gemini and Aska. These sedans were both based on GM world car platforms, and as the company entered the 90's, they were also eventually replaced by badged engineered cars from other Japanese companies.

The Isuzu Gemini became a Honda Domino, and the Aska a Subaru Legacy.
Soon after that, Isuzu would also discontinue their sport Piazza (Impulse) models, and focus only on SUVs and trucks, which were already their only products in the US market.

As promissed, here are more pictures of the Geminett-II brochure, and a real example that found itself in Russia.
De Kuha455405 en Wikipedia
More Geminett-II pictures:

More Isuzu rebadges.

Isuzu Statesman de Ville 1973 (An Australian Holden sold in Japan). By Daves_Bellet.

Chevrolet Gemini (Chile).

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