Nissan is all about collaboration with its competitors, as evident by the rumor today that it could enter into an agreement with Chrysler to co-develop cars, trucks and engines. Japan's third largest automaker partnered up with Suzuki in 2006, and as Mike Levine from Pickuptruck.com figured out, one big collaboration that has resulted is a new mid-size Suzuki pickup that will be based off of Nissan's Frontier platform and be built by Nissan at its Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Both automakers have now officially confirmed that they're working on the truck together, and the only thing left to wonder is when it will debut and what it will be called. Mike Levine again provided us with an educated guess that the truck will show up at the Chicago Auto Show, and based on recent trademark filings by Suzuki, will be called the Equator. We feel compelled to reiterate our initial concern that entering the mid-size truck market is not the best way for Suzuki to continue increasing its sales in North America, as the segment is shrinking at fast pace. Isn't there a small three-door hatch you'd rather sell in the U.S., Suzuki?

[Source: Suzuki, Nissan]


PRESS RELEASE

SUZUKI AUTO ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR PICKUP TRUCK BUILT BY NISSAN NORTH AMERICA

Brea, Calif., (December 11, 2007) – American Suzuki Motor Corporation today announced that its midsize pickup truck will be produced by Nissan North America, Inc. The truck will be based on Nissan's Frontier midsize pickup and built at the company's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn.

Production of the pickup truck will begin in the fall of 2008. The vehicle will be marketed solely by Suzuki in North America.

In 2006, Suzuki and Nissan announced an agreement to expand the scope of their business collaboration. The pickup is part of that agreement, which also included the supply by Suzuki to Nissan of Alto minicars in Japan.

About Suzuki Auto
The Brea, Calif.-based Automotive Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded in 1985 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 500 automotive dealerships in 49 states. Based in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle and outboard motor manufacturer with sales of more than two million new automobiles annually. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 187 countries.


Nissan North America To Build Suzuki Pickup

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 11, 2007) – Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) announced that the midsize pickup truck it will produce for Suzuki Motor Corp. will be based on the Frontier midsize pickup and built at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn.

Production of the pickup truck will begin in 2008. The vehicle will be solely marketed by Suzuki in North America. Preparations currently are under way to ready the Smyrna facility.

In 2006, Nissan and Suzuki Motor Corp. announced an agreement to expand the scope of their business collaboration. The pickup is part of that agreement, which also included the supply by Nissan to Suzuki of the Serena minivan in Japan.

In North America, NNA's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on NNA and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissannews.com.