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Toyota and Suzuki in Talks to Form New Alliance

Toyota and Suzuki in Talks to Form New Alliance

The two Japanese brands may join forces in the near future

It’s been just a few days since the Renault-Nissan Alliance revealed that it’s about to buy an important share in Mitsubishi and include the brand in their partnership, and yet another possible cooperation has been announced. Specifically, Toyota and Suzuki unveiled that they have agreed to start "exploring ideas that are directed towards a business partnership."

Both brands state that a collaboration may help them solve their respective challenges, as well as well as catch up with other alliances when it comes to standardization and sharing of know-how and technology. Toyota and Suzuki also claim that they will be open to other companies regarding this collaboration idea. What’s more, both companies said that they will continue to compete with each other in a "fair and independent manner." On the other hand, neither automaker said when this possible cooperation might come into effect.

“As the environment which surrounds the automobile industry has been changing drastically, we need to have the ability to respond to changes in order to survive. In addition to the R&D which each company is working on individually, it is very important now to have partners who share the same goal and passion," said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, while Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki also confirmed that talks are already underway.

One of the larger automakers in the world, Toyota current owns a majority stake in Daihatsu and Hino Motors, as well as significant shares of Fuji Heavy Industries, owner of Subaru, and Isuzu. The Japanese company has local joint ventures with FAW, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, and Guangzhou Automobile Group. Suzuki, on the other hand, owns more than 50 percent of Maruti Suzuki and has joint ventures with Chongqing and Jiangxi in China. It also has assembly contracts with Fiat Chrysler Automobile, Mazda, and Nissan in Europe and Asia.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Suzuki Caught Concealing Millions in Income Over Last Two Years

Suzuki Caught Concealing Millions in Income Over Last Two Years

Yet another automotive company that thought it could get away with something

In case you haven’t noticed, automakers are running rampant with deception. Of course, there’s the whole Volkswagen situation, and then Mitsubishi came under fire for its fuel economy scandal. Now, yet another automaker has been caught with their pants down, only this time, it doesn’t involve emissions or fuel economy. This time, we’re talking about Suzuki’s inability to follow Japanese tax laws and illegally concealing ¥300 million or about $2.92 million in income over the last two years through March of 2015.

According to the Japan Times, the Nagoya Regional Taxation Bureau found that the company had been treating old parts for motorcycles as actual costs instead of inventory, ultimately pretending to have used the parts while hanging on to them the entire time. The problem is that, under the Japan’s current tax rules, all unused parts must be treated as inventory unless they are used, or disposed of, at which point they can be scratched off as cost.

A Suzuki Motor official said, “We had miscommunications within our company and also didn’t have enough knowledge about tax affairs. Although there was a difference of opinions (with tax authorities), we filed corrected tax reports and paid all of the money levied.”

In addition to this disregard to the nation’s tax laws, the company was also found to have not declared ¥1.2 billion because of accounting errors as well as booking a portion of development costs prior to the projects actually being completed – yet another clear violation of tax regulations. All of this comes not long after Suzuki, like Mitsubishi, was found to have fudged its fuel efficiency numbers on some vehicles too. According to an “unnamed source that is close to the matter,” the company has paid ¥450 million or nearly $4.3 million in back taxes and fines so far.

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Suzuki and Volkswagen in Legal Battle to end Partnership

Suzuki and Volkswagen in Legal Battle to end Partnership

For the better part of the last decade, Volkswagen Automotive Group has been snagging up various automakers and auto groups in an attempt to build an empire that would likely make Darth Vader cower in fear. It looks like one of VW’s Stormtroopers is turning its back on the “Dark Side,” as Suzuki, a company that VW bought some $2.1 billion worth of shares in 2009, is taking VW to court in an attempt to force VW to return the 19.9 percent of Suzuki stock that it owns.

The issues that run between the two are your typical automotive wah-fest, as Suzuki is boo-hooing over the fact that VW did not share enough technical information with Suzuki, which was a stipulation of the stock sale. VW, on the other hand, is crying foul because Suzuki opted to source a small-displacement engine from Fiat instead of VW. Oddly enough, VW is fighting Suzuki to keep its shares, while Suzuki has filed suit against VW in a London court to force VW to sell its shares back.

Another odd turn of events is the fact that Suzuki is willing to pay market value to VW for said shares, giving Volkswagen a cool $300K to $400K in profit.

Overall, this is a very strange turn of events, as we are not quite sure exactly what in the world VW would want with the Suzuki brand under its umbrella. The brand has been really struggling in the last decade and looks to eventually go the Isuzu route and pull out of the American market altogether. Then again, VW has been apt for turning around struggling car companies, a la Audi.

We’ll keep you posted on any new happenings in this legal battle.

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Suzuki recalls three vehicles due to overheating GPS

Suzuki recalls three vehicles due to overheating GPS

A few weeks ago, GPS manufacturer Garmin issued a recall on its Nuvi portable navigation systems after it was discovered that the batteries in these units have the potential to overheat and could, in a worst-case scenario, result in the system catching fire.

It also just so happened that Suzuki has three vehicles in its line-up that use the aforementioned Garmin GPS – the SX4, the Grand Vitara, and the Equator – and as such will also be issuing a recall of the cars to fix the malfunction at the soonest possible time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 20,000 of these Suzuki vehicles ranging from the 2008-2010 SX4, the 2010 Grand Vitara, and the 2009-2010 Equator, will be recalled beginning this month with Garmin technicians on hand to replace the malfunctioning batteries “by replacing the battery and inserting a space on top od the battery” at no cost to the customers.

So, if you own any one of these models, you can contact either Garmin (1-866-957-1981) or Suzuki (1-887-697-8985) for further information on the impending recall.

NHTSA Press Release after the jump.

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First interior photos of the new Swift

First interior photos of the new Swift

The car that everybody simply loves is upon us. The new Suzuki Swift supermini will be ready soon and, for your enjoyment, we have a few new details and photos, including the first shots of the interior.

There aren’t many exterior design changes to speak of, but the interior gets some of the cues from the Kizashi, which we will be reviewing this month. There are new LCD displays, new switchgear, and metallic accents.

Suzuki has also confirmed to Autocar that there will be a Sport version of the Swift and it is highly probable that it will get the current 1.6-liter motor.

The Swift gains a few inches this year, as the wheelbase has grown by 50mm and the overall length increases by 90mm. Luckily, despite the size increase the weight is down. The body is lighter and stiffer than before and the front and rear tracks are 10mm and 5mm wider.

For the car’s launch there will be a 1.2-liter petrol engine that will produce 92 horsepower and 87 pound-feet of torque. This new motor will be replacing the old 1.3 and, despite the loss of .1 of a liter, this new engine is more powerful. A manual gearbox will be standard with an automatic as an option.

Fuel economy is around 56.5 miles per gallon, an improvement of 7.8 miles over the last motor. The Swift will emit about 116 grams of CO2 per kilometer. There will also be a 1.3 diesel that will be able to get 67.3 mpg. That will be ready by early 2011.

We think that the new Swift will cost around £11,000 but that is just a guess at this point.

We’ll keep you posted on any further details that become available.

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Suzuki Grand Vitara and XL-7 SUVs set to have their own recalls over defective pulleys

Suzuki Grand Vitara and XL-7 SUVs set to have their own recalls over defective pulleys

In the first half of 2010, no one word has had a more profound effect on the auto industry as the word ’recall’. Just about every automaker on the planet has had an encounter with it one way or the other and, as it turns out, it’s Suzuki’s turn.

The Japanese automaker is in the process of recalling 46,549 units of its 2006 Grand Vitara and 2005-2006 models of the XL-7 SUVs because of a defective hydraulic power assist steering pump that could lead to serious trouble for owners of the aforementioned models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the warning after finding out that the plastic tension adjuster pulley found in these models could deteriorate over time leading to pieces of the pulley breaking off and dislodging the steering belt, which would then make it extremely difficult for the SUVs to steer.

So if you have any of these two models, you can have them fixed at your nearest Suzuki dealer where they will replace the steering pump drive belt tension adjuster pulley - that’s a long name for a car part - free of charge.

Press Release after the jump

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Suzuki offers free gas for the duration of summer

Suzuki offers free gas for the duration of summer

When you’re struggling to make your cars more appealing to the consumer base, you try to figure out any and whatever kind of promotion you can to make your brand more attractive.

For a car manufacturer like Suzuki who has seen their sales figures drop like swatted flies, the promotions have come in droves. There was the zero-percent financing, the customer cash-back, the military service incentives, graduate incentives, and owner loyalty incentives.

Now we have Suzuki’s latest promotion: free gas.

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Suzuki XL7 Ceases Production (For Now)

Suzuki XL7 Ceases Production (For Now)

Suzuki has stopped production of its North America only XL7 at the CAMI Ingersoll, Ontario plant it shares with General Motors. The suspension is indefinite, but will almost certainly last through the rest of the year. "It is an America-specific model," says Suzuki spokesman Hideo Kojima. "But since the subprime loan problem, that segment has been hit the hardest. So we decided to suspend it."

CAMI produced 12,407 XL7s last year, but this year has only popped out four (that’s right, four) XL7s through Sunday, May 10.

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Suzuki Kizashi DOA

Suzuki Kizashi DOA

One of the cars we were looking forward to crowding the mid-manger parking lot was the Suzuki Kizashi. The designs we’ve seen were a fresh and aggressive approach to the family sedan, and a rumored 3.5-liter V6 was also helped wet our appetites. But that seems to be all over now. A Reuters report is now indicating that Suzuki will halt all investment on the car, despite the almost production-ready versions we’ve spied.

Suzuki has been making a significant comeback in Europe with its Swift hatchback. But the Swift has stayed off our shores due to a mixture of American’s little love for small hatches, and the last Swift we had was also sold as the image-crushing Geo Metro. Instead, the Kizashi was supposed to be Suzuki’s chance at real credibility in America. Now all we’re left with is wondering what the word “Vitara” means.

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Suzuki Swift production reaches 1 million mark

Suzuki Swift production reaches 1 million mark

In a world where compact and fuel-efficient cars make more sense than big and thirsty ones, this news comes across without any surprise at all. The Swift hatchback from Suzuki has brought several laurels to company and it now surpasses global production of one million cars.

Loved by audiences across the globe and interestingly by tuning companies, the Swift was launched less than four years back intended mainly for the European markets as its design and styling took shape with feedback from there.

Suzuki’s Hungarian plant produces vehicles entirely for Europe which contributed more than 306,000 to the total. Since its launch in the UK, over 36,500 Swifts have been sold showing that it has been received very well by the English people.

The car was first built in Japan, followed by Hungary, China, India and recently Indonesia and Malaysia. There is always this trend followed by manufacturers to change the styling of a car, when releasing it in markets abroad, but interestingly the Swift has undergone little or no changes in its appearance. Now, here’s a lesson for other small car manufacturers- If you plan on making a hatchback for global markets, use feedback from Europe to design the car.

The petrol models, especially the 1.6-litre Sport, are popular for their acceleration and mileage, but the award winning Multijet engine from Fiat under the diesel Swift’s bonnet requires a special mentioning. In countries like India where diesel is preferred over petrol in the small car segment, the manufacturer is unable to meet the demands for the diesel version, thanks to this fabulous engine, which has won infinite hearts.

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HKS Suzuki Swift Sport

HKS Suzuki Swift Sport

HKS, a well-known Japanese tuner, unveiled its latest work for customizing the Suzuki Swift Sport. The exterior of the car says it all! The aero kit includes front lip, rear lip, roof spoiler and side mirror caps, all made out of carbon fiber. The rear also features double exhaust system together with a stylish air difusor built in order to offer better stability.

hks eshaust system

The HKS Suzuki Swift Sport features 18” alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama 215/35 R18 tires in order to offer better handling. The engine of the car remained the same: the 1.6-liter power plant is capable of producing 125 hp which is more than enough for the vehicvle. The customers who think all of the tuning parts mentioned are not enough, HKS offers them the option to upgrade the suspension and braking systems and also the chassis.

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Suzuki plans to take on Focus and Golf

Suzuki plans to take on Focus and Golf

According to AutoCar, Suzuki has big plans for the future. The Kizashi Concept unveiled at the Frankfurt motor Show previews three all-new production models: a Mondeo-rivalling saloon and estate, plus a crossover 4x4.

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Suzuki working on Impreza WRX competitor?

Suzuki working on Impreza WRX competitor?

When Suzuki unveiled the Kizashi Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the question on everyones lips was: "What is Suzuki planning for the future?" The answer seems to be a real hard-core model that will have no problems competing with Impreza WRX or the Lancer Ralliart.

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Suzuki MR Wagon becomes mother's little helper

Suzuki MR Wagon becomes mother’s little helper

Suzuki is launching its new MR Wagon on January 30 in Japan. The car is based on the Mom’s Personal Wagon concept seen at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The design concept is based on a mother’s transportation needs.
Eight exterior colours include pink and cyan. The interior consists of bright surfaces and lots of storage areas to store smaller items such as a bottle of milk, snacks or cosmetics. The new 660cc city car is available in either 2WD or 4WD.
A one-touch central lock opens (...)

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