• Dec 14, 2007
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.


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  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Suzuki would easily 4x their US sales if they built a compact truck and bring the Swift, and A-Star Concept (new Alto) over here.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hell no. They're truck is going fail. Look at the raider. A rebadged Dakota, that Failed. They can't even give them away
        • 7 Years Ago
        *have 4x. And *brought. Guess I need to read my ramblings before I post!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want one to replace my Metro, it's ten years old now. A Great cheap runabout car with a hatch! Finally some POWER!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about a true mini pickup like the originals from Japan.....anyone..(cough)...hello?

      Poster Poe above....I think you are right. China or India could fill this void in a heartbeat.

      And before others say no, remember what was thought of the Japanese trucks when they first came over...

      • 7 Years Ago
      MISTAKE. We don't need ANOTHER mid-size truck (especially if it's just a rebadged Nissan). Bring a fuel efficient COMPACT truck and you'll sell all you can make! Everybody has abandoned that entire segment... it's wide open! You watch... some Chinese company will jump in there soon and MOP UP.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm surprised Suzuki didn't rebadge a GM truck.
        • 7 Years Ago
        And GM owns a stake in Suzuki as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Suzuki and Nissan already have a long-standing relationship. Suzuki already builds kei-cars (small city cars) for Nissan (kei-cars are the largest market in Japan).
        • 7 Years Ago
        3% after they sold the rest last year. Only the XL7 is derived from a Gm vehicle, though built by Suzuki.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Aside from the market stemming from Suzuki power sports owners, this doesn't seem like any better of an idea than the Mitsu Raider.
        • 7 Years Ago
        thats exactly what i was thinking. The raider sounded like a good idea, but it just didnt/isnt doing too well, and thats a shame, well Mitsubishi has somewhere around twice suzuki's market share, but there totally different companys..lets wait this one out and see
      • 7 Years Ago
      Abandoned compact truck market? What`s a Ford Ranger chop liver? Ford should rethink about the Ranger and updated it rather than axe it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes- the ranger is exactly that- overdone, dry chopped liver. Ford has a fine replacement for the non-US market, but won't retool.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This makes no sense. Suzuki has a relationship with GM. Suzuki can design a nice small truck on its own. If I want a nissan I'll buy a nissan! Where are the people that brought us the samari? Laugh, but that lil' truck was tough and cheap. It didn't rollover, idiots made them rollover. Come on suzuki, you can do better!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Once again it will not sell just like their GM copies don't.

      What a waste of money .

      I would bring over the Suzuki Swift and other small vehicles but they aren't smart enough.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Suzuki is bring over the Swift in 2009 I believe as that is when the new gen Swift comes out.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My opinions/guesses? Suzuki is tieing up with Nissan instead of GM in this segment because A.) none of the Colorado/Canyon/I-series trucks are setting the world on fire...saleswise, and B.) GM has this habit of dumping coop ventures when they need cash, as in Subaru.

      I agree that perhaps a compact pickup would have been a better choice for a company that has a rep for small vehicles. The mid size market shrinking? I think some of that is because the current offerings are getting heavier and their fuel efficiency is nearing 6 cylinder, full-size truck numbers. Why buy a small truck when a bigger one isn't much more expensive and uses little more gas?

      Finally, yeah Suzuki, what's up with the 5 door hatch but no 3 door hatch "thing"?
      • 7 Years Ago
      wouldn't you just buy a nissan?
      the only thing that might work is if the suzuki had a diesel option that nissan might find too risky to sell just to test the NA market. hey, a guy can dream.
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