Suzuki and GM plan US hybrid?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on June 12, 2006

When GM sold most of its decades old stake in Suzuki Motor in March, it looked like the end of the road for joint projects undertaken by the two companies. That view gathered pace on Sunday when Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported that Suzuki will quit marketing U.S. built imports of the Chevrolet Trail Blazer and Optra wagon in Japan this year and end production of the jointly developed Chevrolet Cruze compact at its domestic factories. Citing a Suzuki spokesman, the Yomiuri said that Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki and GM’s Richard Wagoner agreed on the move when they met in the United States recently. Now, though, it seems the the relationship might still have some life in it, after all. The Nikkei Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s biggest business daily, reports today that GM and Suzuki are working on a hybrid for the U.S. market which will be released in 2009. The Nikkei says the two are considering a 3 liter SUV and hints that it might be a variant on the Grand Vitara SUV, sold as the Escudo in Japan.

Reader Comments

Joel A

June 12, 2006 11:26 AM

I'm saddened by this news. While a hybrid SUV would be most welcomed from GM, it would virtually invalidate all the hard-work done by the Challenge X participants.

oblio

June 14, 2006 3:44 PM

what is a challenge x ?
...
Anyway, GM needs a small-but-tall hybrid CAR that will achieve 70 mpg and 85 mph... Heck, a 1990 Geo Metro got 50 mpg. Why does the new Aveo only get 26? It's no more spacious.

Joel A

June 16, 2006 12:20 PM

"what is a challenge x ?"

oblio, Challenge X is a competition between various universities to develop a high-mileage hybrid SUV. It's sponsored by GM and the U.S. Department of Energy:
http://www.challengex.org/

Some of the results are spectacular. Current mid-sized SUVs average between 20-25 mpg. Some of the Challenge X competitors' vehicles, though, easily broke 30 mpg.

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