Suzuki readies a sedan and updates the SX4 crossover
A SUZUKI small car that plugs the gap between the Swift and Kizashi is coming within 18 months. The Corolla rival is part of a compact development program that has already produced a new SX4 crossover and will soon include a small sedan for China.
The SX4 was previewed at the Geneva motor show last month and the Suzuki sedan, the Authentic, will be unveiled at the Shanghai motor show on April 20. There is no official confirmation from Suzuki of its small-car plan but everything points to a major new push into the biggest growth area in Australian motoring.
‘‘ We really haven’t had a genuine small car to compete with the Corolla and Mazda3. But it looks as if it could be coming,’’ Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers tells Carsguide.
‘‘ The small-car segment is where we need to be. It’s most likely to be a hatch, especially for Australia. We’d prefer that because it’s 80-90 per cent of the sales in that segment.’’
The last time Suzuki made a major expansion of its line-up was when it introduced the original Swift and mid-sized Kizashi. Those cars arrived before the global financial crisis.
‘‘ We’re hoping for a plethora of new models. We’ve very keen to get new and updated models in the growth segments,’’ Devers says. ‘‘ We got through the GFC, we’re making profit and R&D is back into full swing.’’
Devers says Suzuki is already planning for the local arrival of the SX4, probably near the end of the year, but anticipates it will draw different customers to showrooms. ‘‘ We’re not sure if we’ll call it a small car or an SUV. It’s more like a Nissan Dualis than the current model.’’
Expansion ahead: Suzuki’s Chinese concept; (inset) SX4