High oil prices are proving to be a boon for automakers with a portfolio of small cars, and Suzuki is riding the wave. Japan's fourth-largest automaker announced Wednesday that it is raising its 2006-2007 revenue and profit forecasts by about 7 percent.

In the right place at the right time, Suzuki is enjoying a sharp increase in demand for its successful 660cc minicars in the Japanese domestic market, and a boom in the Indian vehicle market. In western markets, the company can hardly meet demand for its new SX4 small crossover (also branded as the Fiat Sedici) and Swift hatchback.

Investing in the future, Suzuki also announced plans to build a new small-car facility in Japan, with an annual capacity of 240,000 units. The $523 million plant will open in early 2008. The company is also doubling capacity at its plant in Hungary, and increasing by around 50 percent its capacity in India and Pakistan.

[Source: Reuters]

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