• Dec 7th 2007 at 3:02PM
  • 18
Suzuki Grand Vitara Pickup Concept from 2000 Tokyo Motor Show

Suzuki is the little automaker with pluck, having galantly reached its ambitious goal of selling 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. Soon another model with join Suzuki's lineup, and it's probably not what you think. Pickuptruck.com is reporting that the Japanese automaker will likely debut a new mid-size truck called the Equator at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show in February. The Equator name, while not confirmed or denied by Suzuki, has been registered as a trademark by the company. Suzuki will be getting help from Nissan to build its pickup, as the Equator will be produced on the same platform as the Frontier pickup and share that truck's assembly line in Smyrna, Tennessee. Mike Levine from Pickuptruck.com points out that Suzuki has definitely expressed interest in pickups before, having debuted the Grand Vitara Pickup Concept (shown above) at the 2000 Tokyo Motor Show. Let's not forget the excellent X-Head Concept that debuted at this year's show in Tokyo. Still, the mid-size pickup market in the U.S. is in even worse shape than the full-size pickup market, and is hardly stable enough to provide Suzuki with very many sales. If done well, however, the Equator could be the exception and give folks who own all manner of Suzuki hardware like bikes and ATVs a truck with which to tow their toys.

[Source: Pickuptruck.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Suzuki's messing up, IMHO... Why? Well, for one.. I don't think they'll hit 100,000 sales this year( every month this year, they posted sales figures....Except for November... salesman told me they did not do well, that's why, and they may get 95-97K units sold vs 101,000+ from 2006..they don't want to "brag" about Losing Sales, if possible).

      Let me see.
      My inlaws have a 07 CUV/SX4... 43,000 in 14 months(work vehicle)...excellent shape... no problems yet, and cost only 16K total, with automatic.
      Very reasonable, close to 30 MPG. Fun to drive, etc...
      Then there was news of the new SX4 Sport(sedan version of SX4 CUV).
      I was ready to buy one...until I saw the cost(fairly loaded, well over 17K msrp...that's a lot more for a vehicle that only has FWD, and a trunk added on....1.5K more for a trunk?) and, No Fold Down Rear Seats, for one. No Sunroof option(strike 2), no real arm rest for passenger, or driver,or center console(to store stuff in).strike 3!!!!!!!!
      I liked the Reno... and was hoping Suzuki was smart enough to build their own version(vs Daewoo/GM-DAT version), or a sedan with all the same stuff as the Forenza/Reno has/had for options(too).
      Nope... they decontented, raised MSRP 2-3K, and give you less options(or none).
      For 900 dollars less, I got the excellent(reworked) 2008 Focus SES.
      It has fold down rear seats(like all other cars in this catagory), center console/armrest, and SYNC(no other cars will have this/companies, at least until Nov 08)..plus better MPG.

      So, I could have got a SX4 sport...no sunroof(option),
      no folding rear seats, no armrest.console...hardly anything, for 900 more than the Focus, and had the privledge of driving 100 miles 'round trip for service(or warranty issues, if any arose)
      or got the Focus, and drive 16 miles 'round trip for any service/issues.
      Suzuki is messing up.
      Their SX4 sales are nowhere near what the (falling) Reno/Forenza saels are doing, still..and these(less contented) cars(sx4) is selling 1/4th of what the Reno/Forenza is... Do they get it?
      No is the apparent answer.

      Same with this truck.
      Comes out at the wrong time.
      Probably will have less content than the Nissan Frontier...
      cost almosgt as much.....
      and how many Suzuki dealerships are there( only 2 in 100 miles of my area,,, there is 1 more, but it's got 12 cars on the lot, only, and shares the building with a RV sales showroom!).

      They should have made another CUV....or something else for now.
      Hyundai/Kia want a truck... too...but are focusing on CUV-like vehicles-kind of- right now(upcoming Elantra 5 door).
      I really wanted a Suzuki-Built Reno.. they gave us a 1991 car(like SE-R, but not as fun to drive).....with airbags(well, 91, the drivers had airbags..no passenger air bags, etc)in 2007.
      Where's their 2 door coupes, like Cobalt, Focus, or even a 3 door like the upcoming Astra, or Scion tC?
      These things sell....more than this truck will.

      • 7 Years Ago
      How about a -small- pickup? I had one of Nissan's tiny first US market pickups. These days, all the small pickups have gone "midsize."

      A small truck would be nice.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mark, I spotted this French article from LeBlogAuto
        http://www.leblogauto.com/2007/07/nissan-bakkie-appelez-moi-datsun.html the Nissan Bakkie in South Africa who's still made, is the old Datsun pick-up from the early 1970s

        And for small pick-ups or utes, VW continue to made the Golf/Rabbit pick-up in South Africa as well. Ford got the Courier (not the 1970s rebadged Mazda pick-up but a small "ute" sold in Latin America).
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they're sharing assembly lines wouldn't one think this truck might be very close in size to the Frontier. If so I'd be cool with a 263hp v6 Suzuki truck that I could get for around $18,000. A loaded Frontier costs about $30,000, which is definitely out of my price range. Oh, and for those that don't see a need for small trucks, what is wrong with you? Some might like a pickup bed for when it's needed but not want to get 15mpg all of the time. Why do you think Tacomas sell well? Because they are built well and fill most's needs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like I've been saying all year. Put a modest diesel in it please. Anyone! I will be in the market this Spring.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, seeing as I am from Texas and I am a truck buyer I believe I am well qualitifed to make that statement. I see tons and tons of old full size trucks used for work everyday. Sure there are small trucks around, primarily older rangers (nothing else seemed to last). However, ask anyone looking to buy a truck and the majority want a full size just for the fact that it can carry more and haul more, not to mention some smaller trucks (Tacoma) can reach into the 30's!!! Who wants to pay that much for a 4 door Tacoma when you can have a supercab or supercrew F150 for the same amount or less?. And people who buy trucks rarely care about gas mileage. They already know it is not going to be stellar. If people wanted small trucks so badly, even in an age of outrageous gas prices, the Ranger would be increasing in sales. The older Focus did just a year ago before the release of the updated one, so why wouldn't the Ranger? Duh!!! It's a dwindling market that no one cares about much anymore!
        • 7 Years Ago
        '08 Tacoma Access Cab owner here, 4 cylinder model bought for 20k, gets 23-24 MPG. Agree you can bulk up to a bigger truck for not much more money, but there really isn't a smaller truck to choose from at all.

        The Ranger doesn't sell well because it hasn't been updated since the early 90's. Still, if Ford threw a decent diesel in it, it would sell.
        Seems to me there is a market for small diesel work trucks, if only for fleet sales, but those business executives must know more than I do...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The old nissan Hardbodys got the same lousy fuel econ as the current Frontier.
      This will be based on the Frontier, so I don't see many real advantages, other than giving someone a Suzuki with which to haul their other Zukes.
      I actually dug the old Vitara based 3-door trucklett- filled out the comment form at the time.
      Tanooki- I think you're missing one significant player... Starts with a C....

      The big problem facing these "midsize" trucks, is that they just don't offer much fuel economy of purchase price savings over their more capable full-size counter parts. Everyone has a 4cyl. diesel on the shelf. Get with the program already.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is absolutely perfect. Since ford seems to be too stupid and making their so called mid sized pickup the Explorer Sport Trac, the Nissan Frontier taking steroids, and not much else in the segment except leaving the awfully expensive Toyota Tacoma by it's lonesome this mid sized pickup should totally fit the bill.

      I would really like to see the Mitsubishi Triton to come to the States with that really nice turbo diesel i-4 with common rail injection. I have actually owned one of these when I was in Malaysia and I must say that it is a very nice SUT (sport utility truck). It had great pickup for a turbo diesel and had better acceleration and torque than the US spec'ed Ford ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and previous generation Nissan Frontier (when it was actually a true midsized truck). I wish I could have brought it here but the retarded emission laws here are what made me have to sell it before i came back here.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Build the X-Head
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's a great way for zuk to corner a market, sure sales. But wow, I hope its not as bland as their 2000 concept.

      But I doubt that, they're recent suv designs have been spot on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford is killing the Ranger. I think there should be a market for Suzuki's mid-size pickup if it ends up well-designed and with decent MPG.
        • 7 Years Ago
        but its MID-sized, not small like the ranger. think canyon or dakota or tacoma...

        and mileage will SUCK, probably closer to a fullsize. Suzukis are typically low mpg in their bracket.

        ford should sell its mazda bt50 here as a replacement for the ranger
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Get over it people. Everyone rather have a fullsize. And if I remember correctly, didn't Ford have a concept called the Equator recently?"

      Yeah that's because everyone just wants to be like everyone else. I still see plenty of old small pickups from Mazda, Ford, Toyota and Nissan around here being used as work trucks so they must have filled a need. The thing I don't understand is the demographic that buys trucks doesn't have a lot of extra cash to spend on expensive gas, e.g. construction workers, yet the fashion dictates they buy something beyond their needs............
      • 7 Years Ago
      Suzuki should either build a Grand Vitara based truck or the X Head.

      Those Vitara's are good little Suvs and I'm sure there is a real need for small light duty pick up.

      The X Head is different and might sell well, I like the concept of exterior tool boxes, many people have promised those but we don't have them yet.

      The Frontier is OK but we don't need another one.

      The Ranger is outdated.

      I also agree on the Mitsubishi Triton, They should import it, forget the Dakota, sell something that looks good and makes sense.
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