Technology you love to drive – Maruti Suzuki Swift
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Newlyweds Volkswagen and Suzuki won’t waste anytime in getting started on their new joint projects. At the recent launch of the new Suzuki Alto, CEO Osama Suzuki told reporters that the teamed up automakers will begin “Actual, detailed execution — with our people going there and their people coming here… after January.”
That first project will be a new small car that will be sold in developing countries, which could be outsourced from Suzuki’s Indian Maruti operations and is rumored to cost between $4,300 and $5,400 USD.
Volkswagen has much less experience in building ultra-small cars than Suzuki, which is a leader in Japan’s tiny Kei car class, and an expert at making money with low pricing.
Volkswagen has just announced that it has “reached a common understanding to establish a close longterm strategic partnership” with Suzuki Motor Corporation. Rumours of such a match-up have been circulating for some months. Now, according to an official statement, VW will purchase 19.9 percent of Suzuki’s issued shares. In payback Suzuki will use up to half of the cash received from VW to buy a smaller stake in the Wolfsburg company.
Although the two automakers compete in some segments, there is a belief that they can compliment each other. VW has expertise in diesel technology and hybrid systems while Suzuki is quite strong in the fast-emerging Indian marketplace. Suzuki has a few tricks and in addition to cars and motorcycles builds marine transportation solutions and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
If the authorities approve the transaction, this new connection would create the world’s largest car manufacturing alliance. VW and Suzuki would surpass Toyota in terms of sales.
Consolidation seems to be the key word in the automotive industry again. Recently French company PSA Peugeot CitroÃ«n announced it was entering into a cooperative agreement with Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors. Italy’s Fiat is now playing boss at Chrysler LLC while Nissan and Renault have been tight for about a decade now. Who knows what’s next, possibly a three-way partnership?
The popular Suzuki Swift has been a big player in new car sales here in NZ and now it’s taking on a new form. Suzuki has just announced that it will introduce a plug-in series hybrid version of the Swift at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, with an interesting powertrain.
The model, which is just a concept at this point, uses a 660 cc engine, probably sourced from a Japanese kei car. The engine charges the lithium-ion batteries, which are placed between the front seats. The batteries power a 54 kW motor that moves the front wheels.
More will be revealed about the Suzuki Swift hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show, check back for updates.