The Suzuki Kizashi is a very nice mid-size sedan with some sporty pretensions. However, its snail-pace sales numbers make it hard to justify expanding the powertrain lineup. Further complicating the matter is a change in the company's ownership structure. General Motors had previously owned a stake in Suzuki, but disposed it in late 2008. Volkswagen purchased nearly 20 percent of the company a year later.
Suzuki had planned to launch a V6-powered version of the Kizashi in 2011 followed by a hybrid in 2012, but both plans have now been scuttled. The hybrid and V6 hardware was to have been sourced from GM, but after the VW investment, Suzuki announced it would cancel all its future GM cooperation plans.
It's still possible that Suzuki could adopt some VW powertrain offerings for the Kizashi, but the costs would be hard to justify for variants that would be mainly appealing to an American audience. A more likely scenario would be for Suzuki to simply fade away from the U.S. car market.
Photos copyright ©2009 John Neff / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]