Suzuki announced it will introduce the Escudo (known as the Grand Vitara here) SUV in China in 2006. According to inside sources at Suzuki's Chinese partner, Changan Auto, production plans for the Escudo are already underway and and it's due for Q1 2006. When launched, the Escudo will face fierce competition in an extremely crowded Chinese SUV market with more than forty manufacturers fighting for a piece of the 100,000 unit/year segment, which has already seen a 12% decline this year thanks to rising fuel prices. One can't help but wonder exactly what Suzuki is banking on? The answer is low price, as the Escudo is priced ~20-30% below its competitors from Honda and Toyota — ahhhhh, the good old strategy of sacrificing profit margin for market share. Good luck, guys.

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