Suzuki expects a big sales boost from larger SX4
LONDON -- Suzuki expects a sales boost for its SX4 crossover after moving the car into a larger segment.
The new SX4 will compete against models such as the Nissan Qashqai in the compact segment. The current car is a subcompact.
The automaker's Europe chief, Takanori Suzuki, said he expected the SX4 will outsell the current car by "a lot more" units, not just because of its crossover looks but also for its roominess.
"We have never had before a car like this, especially with its rear luggage space of 430 liters, which is among the best in its class," he told Automotive News Europe. The outgoing SX4 has trunk space of 270 liters.
At 4300mm, the new SX4 is 165mm longer than the current car, Suzuki has not released pricing for the SX4, which will go on sale in September. Last year, SX4 sales fell by 20 percent in Europe to 28,683 units, according to JATO Dynamics.
The SX4 will be the first Suzuki model to offer a 1.6-liter diesel engine sourced from Fiat. Suzuki's agreement to buy the Fiat engine led to Volkswagen terminating its alliance with the Japanese company. VW said the Fiat engine breached the terms of the alliance.
The new SX4 will be the basis for subcompact crossover that will launch in spring 2015 to rival cars such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, Takanori Suzuki said.
Suzuki will continue to build the SX4 in its plant in Hungary. The current SX4 is built alongside the Fiat Sedici but the Italian automaker will replace the Sedici with the 500X, which will be built in a Fiat factory.
Suzuki will launch a new minicar in Europe next year built in Thailand and sized between the Alto and the Splash. Currently the Splash is produced alongside the identical Opel/Vauxhall Agila in the Hungary plant. Suzuki wouldn't comment on the future of its agreement with Opel.
The automaker will continue to import Vitara medium SUV from Japan.
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