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Suzuki delays US Swift until at least 2011, getting advice from VW

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Suzuki delays US Swift until at least 2011, getting advice from VW


Those of you waiting for the new Suzuki Swift to get Stateside will have to wait a little bit longer. After the Kizashi didn't exactly make the splash that Suzuki had hoped for, and with Suzuki sales in America crumbling, it appears that the Japanese automaker and 20% stakeholder Volkswagen AG will sit down to form a new battle plan.

Part of that plan includes putting the Swift's US arrival on hold until at least 2011 so that pricing and strategy could be evaluated. Some of the reasoning behind the delay has to do with the rising Japanese yen, which has also dented the company's US marketing division.

Having already cut advertising spending significantly, Suzuki says that they are unwilling to raise prices or cut content to counteract the exchange rate issue. The small hatchback will be sold in Europe and Japan until US market details are finalized.

On a developmental note: VW is looking to have final details on platform/powertrain similarities by this fall, including what can be improved and (probably) what can be shared.

American Suzuki product and development head Steve Younan says, "We should get some indication of where they may have found some efficiencies in platform development and powertrain development."

A Swift Sport with VW's 1.4-liter TSI is a very interesting proposal indeed.

By Phil Alex



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