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Suzuki to launch large SUV in U.S. in 2006

TOKYO, March 24, 2004; Reuters reported that Suzuki Motor Corp, which is keen to boost its North American presence, plans to launch a large sports utility vehicle there in 2006, the Nihon Keizai business newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Suzuki, Japan's top minivehicle maker and primarily a small car manufacturer, will build the 3,000 cc SUV at its Canadian factory shared with partner General Motors Corp, with annual output likely to be around 50,000 units, the paper said.

"While we are keen to boost our annual sales in North America to around 200,000 vehicles in 2007, we are still considering what products we will offer and are not in a position to make official comment," a company spokesman said.

Suzuki's sales in the United States amounted to only about 58,400 vehicles last year. The auto maker is one-fifth owned by GM.

The paper said some of the vehicles may be exported to Japan and Australia.