Suzuki freezes big car project, shelves overseas expansion plans

Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp has deferred plans for the 2010 launch of its new-model large-sized sports utility vehicles and shelved overseas expansion plans amid a global auto market slump.

Reports quoting sources at the carmaker said Suzuki will not proceed with its plan to develop the 3.6 litre engine `Kizashi', a four-door sports sedan which is still in the concept stage.

'Kizashi' was an alternative SUV model meant to attract vehicle owners looking to upgrade from small vehicles in key markets like India.
Meanwhile, Suzuki's Indian arm Maruti Suzuki India Limited saw its sales plunge to 56,293 vehicles (including 4,264 units exported) in December 2008 against a total of 62,515 vehicles sold in December 2007.

Maruti Suzuki, which controls around 50 per cent of India's car market, however, saw sales volume in the domestic A3 segment go up 98 per cent during the month.
Maruti Suzuki has now started displaying fuel efficiency of its 12 brands from the New Year, to reinforce its leadership in fuel efficiency. 

"The 'voluntary disclosure of fuel economy' is a proactive measure undertaken by the company in customer interest. The fuel economy figures obtained in tests by premier automobile research institutions emphasise Maruti Suzuki's overall leadership in making highly fuel efficient cars. It would enable customers to make an informed choice when purchasing a car in the market,'' said Shinzo Nakanishi, MD & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

Maruti Suzuki has got its complete range of 12 brands tested at the three government approved test agencies - Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) Pune, Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) Ahmednagar and International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT) Manesar.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), at its annual convention held in New Delhi in September 2008, had announced a voluntary labeling programme for all member companies to make a voluntary disclosure of fuel efficiency by end of March 2009.

Suzuki and other automakers are under pressure to cut output and scrap investment plans as global auto demand declines sharply.