American Suzuki Expands Product Line With Two Introductions at 2006 New York International Auto Show
World Premiere of 2007 Suzuki XL7 and North American Debut of 2007 Suzuki SX4 Light Up the Big Apple
NEW YORK - April 12, 2006: Following record sales in 2005 and a record first quarter to kick off 2006, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) arrives at the 2006 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) with two new vehicle introductions to further expand its product line and support continued growth in the U.S. market.
The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 crossover SUV makes its global debut at the 2006 NYIAS.
In addition to the all-new XL7 and SX4 and its full line of vehicles on display at the show, ASMC showcases the Suzuki SX4 WRC and the Suzuki Stratosphere motorcycle, two eye-catching concepts that embody Suzuki's "Way of Life" brand philosophy.
"American Suzuki celebrates record first quarter sales with the introduction of two new vehicles at this year's New York International Auto Show," said Koichi Suzuki, president of ASMC Automotive Operations. "With the introduction of the all-new XL7 and SX4, and ongoing sales success of the Grand Vitara, ASMC looks to continue to build momentum and increase market share in 2006."
Suzuki's Rising Sales
ASMC aggressively continues to pursue its sales goal of 100,000 units by the end of 2006 and 250,000 units/year by the end of 2010. Suzuki recorded a 33 percent monthly sales increase over January of 2005 -- the best January in the company's 21-year history -- and record sales for the month of February with 8,542 units sold. Suzuki completed its outstanding first quarter with 10,887 vehicles sold in March, marking the first time in nearly two decades the company exceeded 10,000 units per month, and set a new first quarter sales record with 26,639 units sold. March sales also set an all-time March record.
2007 Suzuki XL7 Midsize Crossover SUV
In the creation of the 2007 Suzuki XL7, Suzuki leveraged its SUV heritage and expertise to design an all-new vehicle for the midsize SUV crossover segment that provides style, room and adaptability for mobile lifestyles. The all-new midsize XL7, equipped with a Suzuki-built 3.6-liter, V6 DOHC engine, defines the new direction of the midsize SUV crossover market and is one of the first entries to combine room for family and cargo with performance, style and comfort not previously associated with midsize SUVs.
The 2007 XL7 has cargo and seating flexibility for all aspects of active lifestyles, on-road and off-road capabilities, sleek and distinctive style and advanced safety features that provide a confident feeling of being in control under any conditions. Suzuki's new generation midsize SUV crossover is slated to go on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2006.
2007 Suzuki SX4 Compact Sport X-over
Globally introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2006, the 2007 Suzuki SX4 compact sport X-over makes its North American debut at the NYIAS. The all-new SX4 features a versatile, rigid five-door design, a standard all- wheel-drive system and, for the U.S. market, a sophisticated fuel-sipping 2.0- liter DOHC engine.
The Suzuki SX4's advanced intelligent all-wheel drive (i-AWD) sends power to the rear wheels as needed with no additional input necessary from the driver. Called the Three-Mode Switchable AWD system, it features a selector switch on the center console that allows the driver to select from three modes: 2WD, AUTO (AWD High) and LOCK (AWD Lock). Customers in the United States will have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed automatic transmission. The SX4 is slated to go on sale in the United States in the third quarter of 2006.
Suzuki SX4 World Rally Championship (WRC) Concept
The Suzuki SX4 WRC Challenge Concept, recently introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show, is another all-new and revolutionary concept from Suzuki. The WRC racing version of the SX4 is currently being developed and is scheduled to be entered in WRC competition beginning in August 2007.
The Suzuki SX4 WRC Concept, which was developed from the production model of the Suzuki SX4, is an important marketing and sales tool for Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). As a major and growing manufacturer of vehicles that are versatile and fun to drive, the Suzuki SX4 WRC project will increase Suzuki's brand identity and provide technical feedback to assist in refining future models as a part of Suzuki's global product development program.
Technical details of the new Suzuki SX4 WRC will be announced prior to its first competitive appearance. Currently, development of its power unit and powertrain are well advanced, and the prototype car is equipped with a new 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder, J20 engine. The engine currently delivers 320 bhp at 4,500 rpm. The new all-wheel-drive system developed for the SX4 WRC Concept includes front and rear mechanical differentials and an electronic differential located in the center. Power is transmitted via a five-speed sequential gearbox. The Suzuki SX4 WRC Concept features independent front and rear MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and Reiger shock absorbers. The steering system is power-assisted rack and pinion.
Suzuki's participation in the WRC, which, along with Formula 1, is one of the world's most recognizable motorsport championships, follows a successful run in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) for the past four years. In 2004, the Suzuki Ignis 1600 took first place in the JWRC Driver's Championship. The Suzuki Swift Super 1600 JWRC entry started the 2006 JWRC season with a first place finish in the Swedish Rally.
Suzuki Stratosphere Concept
Unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, the Suzuki Stratosphere Concept is a compilation of Suzuki's next-generation motorcycle advancements that enrich the joy of riding and operating a bike. Each technological feature on the Stratosphere was refined through actual ride feel and is not merely expressed as theory and numerical data.
The Stratosphere's styling is aimed to strongly appeal to the rider's senses. The use of hammered aluminum from the front cowling to the fuel tank and distinct Damascus steel for the radiator side covers provide the bike with a unique look and feel.
The Stratosphere is powered by an 1100cc in-line, six-cylinder engine that incorporates space-saving design to achieve compactness on par with four- cylinder engines of the same displacement class. With extraordinary smoothness, brisk revving and seemingly boundless acceleration feel, the Stratosphere offers a truly unique experience.
The motorcycle concept features both manual control and automatic operation to suit a rider's situation and personal taste. In automatic operation, the system shifts to manual control whenever the clutch lever is operated, allowing detailed, manual clutch control. The Stratosphere is further defined by such features as speakers in the helmet shield to deliver a natural, hi-fi sound and a wheel-lock system that works in conjunction with a keyless engine-start.
As one of the most innovative motorcycle concepts in recent history, the Suzuki Stratosphere embodies Suzuki's suggestion for the motorcycling lifestyle of the near future, where bikes are even more enjoyable and more comfortable to ride.
Suzuki Works Techno (SWT)
To complement Suzuki's expanding product line, the company launched Suzuki Works Techno (SWT) in 2004 -- a line of style-enhancing trim packages and accessories designed to personalize Suzuki sedans, wagons, crossover vehicles and SUVs sold in the United States. SWT accessories currently are available for the Grand Vitara, Aerio SX, Reno, Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon. Consumers can purchase SWT accessories on an individual basis or in a comprehensive package at their local Suzuki dealership.
At this year's NYIAS, Suzuki showcases the Grand Vitara X-Sport and Aerio SX, both of which feature numerous SWT accessories. The Grand Vitara X-Sport offers a stylish SWT-engineered rear spoiler, SWT exhaust tip, durable rear bumper protector and 16-inch chrome wheels. The Aerio SX offers carbon fiber B-pillar trim, carbon fiber rear bumper protector, rear roof and center hatch spoiler, chrome wheels and smoke chrome lug set.
Focusing on the company's "Way of Life" brand philosophy, and in conjunction with the launch of the 2007 Suzuki XL7 and 2007 Suzuki SX4, ASMC plans to introduce more than 30 SWT accessories for each vehicle. Some XL7 and SX4 accessories include custom roof racks, protection items, wheel packages and audio system upgrades.
Expanded Dealer Network
As part of its 357 Plan, Suzuki continues to strengthen its U.S. dealer network through new programs and initiatives designed to make Suzuki franchises more competitive, profitable and successful than ever before. Fueled by the success of the Suzuki Square retail brand image program, Suzuki's dealer network stands at 540 and is on track to reach of 600 by 2007.
Intended to ensure brand consistency and customer satisfaction across all Suzuki automotive retail dealerships in the United States, Suzuki Square offers buyers a unique shopper-friendly environment, featuring an open-air marketplace design, bold visual styling and themed interior and exterior displays that show how Suzuki vehicles fit various customer lifestyles. To date, the number of completed Suzuki Square dealerships in the United States stands at nearly 100, and 300 dealerships are expected to have registered with the program by the end of 2006.
Expanded Product Line
Suzuki offers an impressive and versatile product line in 2006, which includes the Grand Vitara, the popular Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon, the five-door Reno, the Aerio and Aerio SX and the Suzuki XL-7. All 2006 Suzuki vehicles come in one highly equipped trim level, offering buyers the option of selecting from various option packages to fit their needs. All Suzuki vehicles come with America's #1 Warranty, the industry-leading 100,000-mile, seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
Grand Vitara Redefines Expectations for Compact SUVs
The unique frame design of the 2006 Grand Vitara combines the refined road manners of a car-based unibody SUV with the off-road strength of a body-on- frame design. The available shift-on-the-fly four-mode four-wheel-drive system and tough unibody construction, enhanced with a built-in ladder frame, deliver off-road capability while the fully independent suspension provides quiet comfort and control on roads and trails. The standard 185-horsepower, 2.7-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC engine offers plenty of power for driving excitement. The four-mode system even offers a neutral setting to allow flat towing behind a motor home or RV.
The five-passenger Grand Vitara comes in one trim level with three available equipment packages (Premium, X-Sport and Luxury), ultimately topping out at $24,599 for a Grand Vitara with Luxury Package and full-time four-mode four-wheel drive. The standard five-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive starts at an MSRP of $19,199. The extensive list of standard equipment includes vehicle stability control, anti-lock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution, six airbags (including front and rear side-curtain airbags), power amenities and remote keyless entry.
The Forenza Sedan and Forenza Wagon Have Features Buyers Want
The Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon feature Pininfarina styling, high standard feature content, powerful engines and backing by America's #1 Warranty. For 2006, both Forenza models have a fresh front fascia design that incorporates a new Suzuki "family" grille.
Feature content and value are at the core of the Forenza sedan and Wagon, which now come in one well-equipped model with one available upgrade package. Prices begin at $13,799 for the Forenza sedan and $14,499 for the Forenza Wagon.
Reno Five-door Gains Value and Upgrades
With its sculpted European styling and lively 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine, the Reno is an attractive alternative to compact competitors. New in the 2005 model year, the five-door Reno returns in 2006 with a simplified model strategy, new features and a lower price. The 2006 Reno's MSRP starts at $13,299; Convenience and Premium Packages also are available, versus the previous S, LX and EX model designations used in 2005. Prices start at $14,249 for the Convenience Package and $15,399 for the Premium Package.
Aerio SX and Sedan Provide Expressive Alternatives to the Status Quo
The fun-to-drive Aerio comes standard with a sporty 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine with 155 horsepower and 152 lb-ft of torque -- and adds more value in 2006 with the addition of a new AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system and greater standard feature content, making the Aerio an even smarter buy.
Aerio buyers can choose between a sedan and a five-door sport-crossover (SX). Both body styles now come in just one trim level with either front- wheel drive, from a starting MSRP of $14,099 (sedan), or America's most affordable full-time all-wheel-drive system, for an MSRP of $16,099 (sedan with automatic transmission).
XL-7 Offers Available Room for Seven Passengers in One Easy-to-Drive Size
For 2006, the Suzuki XL-7, one of America's most affordable seven- passenger SUVs, adds standard ABS and a new radio unit with MP3/WMA capabilities that is XM Satellite Radio-ready.
Pricing begins at an MSRP of $21,999, which includes a powerful 2.7-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC engine and a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Alloy wheels, tire pressure monitoring system and power amenities also are included.