Nissan, Suzuki to trade cars and trucks

Confirming rumors circulated earlier this week, Nissan Motor and Suzuki Motor announced Friday that they will expand their current collaboration agreement worldwide, including an increased rebadging of each other's vehicles and joint operation of manufacturing facilities in emerging markets. The new agreement was announced by Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga and Suzuki President and COO Hiroshi Tsuda at a Tokyo press conference (right).
According to Reuters, the new move is seen as an indication that Nissan may take an equity stake in Suzuki, now that General Motors has sold off most of its Suzuki shares.

The new deal will see Nissan provide Suzuki with a minivan for the Japanese market, while Suzuki will provide a new small car for Nissan's Japanese lineup. In North America, Suzuki will rebadge a Nissan pickup starting in 2008. Nissan's European market portfolio will include a new "A" segment city car from Suzuki, also appearing in 2008.

Cooperation in emerging markets will begin with production of Nissan cars at Suzuki's facilities in India.

[Sources: Nissan, Reuters]

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