Suzuki, the little car company that could, is still trying hard to become a player in the U.S. automotive market, and it's got a game plan now. Autoweek is reporting that the company plans to add a small sport wagon to its lineup by the end of 2006. The article says it will be smaller than the RAV-4 and CR-V, which it claims are sport wagons. I would call them small SUV's, or maybe cute utes, but whatever.
Every description, however, of Suzuki's as-yet-unnamed new model makes it sound exactly like the Aerio SX it already produces: five seat wagon, all-wheel drive, "an entry model to attract young customers"... The 2.0L engine, though, will be even smaller than the 155-hp 2.3L in the Aerio.

Autoweek also reiterates that the XL-7 will be replaced by a model based on the Concept-X shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January. It will have a 3.6L V6 and be produced at the CAMI Automotive Inc. plan in Ontario through Suzuki?s joint venture with GM.

Suzuki is also thinking about reintroducing the Swift in the U.S. after its next redesign. That?s a few years off as a new model was just introduced in Europe this spring. This car, if introduced in the U.S., could be the first serious competitor to the MINI.

Finally, Suzuki is also thinking about a hybrid for U.S. consumption based on the success of current hybrid offerings in the U.S. Unlike Nissan and some other companies, Suzuki would develop its own hybrid system.

Suzuki hopes that this roadmap will help the company achieve annual sales of 200,000 units in the U.S. by 2007. In the first half of 2005 Suzuki sold 42,014 units in the U.S. Good luck, boys!

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