Japanese Automakers Resume Limited Output

Monday March 21st, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: aquadog

Japanese Automakers Resume Limited OutputJapan is slowly taking steps to resume auto and parts production after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, with auto companies starting limited production throughout the week. Due to aftershocks, rolling blackouts and infrastructure problems, Japanese auto factories have remained idle costing Japanese automakers an estimated $150 million a day, according to Goldman Sachs.

The IHS Automotive Insight states that “lost production outside of Japan is so far about 10,000 vehicles, but that number will rise ‘exponentially’ as more parts suppliers are affected, reducing stockpiles of components for cars and trucks built overseas”. The U.S. is starting to feel the effect, as General Motors Co. will shut down production at its 900 employee pickup plant in Shreveport, La. next week, which relies on Japanese made transmissions.

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Posted in Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Press and News, Suzuki, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »

Car Companies are Spending Big Bucks on Super Bowl Ads

Tuesday February 1st, 2011 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Super Bowl XLV (45)2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) , the biggest television event of the year is coming up this Sunday, February 6, and the auto companies are spending big bucks ($3 million for 30 seconds) on advertising that will rival beer companies’ air time. Car makers such as Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Bridgestone are all going to be making TV appearances from pre-game through post-game shows. Some companies have already started to build their campaigns before Super Bowl Sunday through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Audi is stirring up interest for their A8 Super Bowl commercials by posting the “Audi Estate Sale” on Facebook and messages on Twitter. Audi will also takeover YouTube’s homepage on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Posted in Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »

First Impressions: 2010 Suzuki SX4

Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: mswig

Suzuki SX4 Crossover tuned by Road Race Motorsports
Review by contributing editor, Martin Swig

Many reviewers have been lukewarm toward the Suzuki SX4. I don’t understand that, and neither does my friend, Denise McCluggage of Autoweek. We each own one, love it, and rate the car VERY highly.

I bought an SX4 that had been heavily breathed-on by RoadRace Motorsports of Sante Fe Springs, CA. A Ronal wheel, plus tire and suspension package, and a turbo package make for a quick and stable trackday car that is still a tractable everyday street car. The carbon-fiber hood adds visual drama.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Suzuki |Tags:, || 1 Comment »

Suzuki Gives Half of its Kizashi Marketing Budget to U.S. Dealers

Thursday February 18th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Suzuki Kizashi Suzuki hopes local dealers can help market new model

Suzuki, ever the underdog in the US market, cannot afford an all-out media blitz to promote the all-new 2010 Kizashi, but will instead funnel $30 million of this year’s marketing budget to US dealers. The funds that are given to the dealerships will be used to do local advertising and other promotional offers.

The small Japanese automaker hopes sales the Kizashi pulls them out of a sales slump. Sales dropped last year by 54 percent and this year sales are down another 44 percent. This is depressing news because the auto market is recovering while Suzuki is continuing to see sales decline.

Suzuki plans on spending the other half of its marketing budget on two national ads. One ad in particular will focus on the car’s affordable all-wheel-drive option. Perhaps the other ad will help teach tongue-tied Americans how to properly pronounce Kizashi.

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First Impressions: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS, something good is coming

Tuesday January 12th, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Suzuki Kizashi

By Michael Leroy


  • Great 6-speed manual transmission
  • Good looks inside and out
  • Excellent value and warranty
  • Standard USB audio port


  • Some hard plastics in parts, particularly covering the child seat hooks
  • Does not offer a V6, hybrid or turbo option engine
  • Could use more suspension fine tuning
  • Perhaps too Japanese of a name

Believe it or not, Suzuki has been in the American market for 25 years. Since 1985, the company offered a range of funky little cars and SUV’s that filled a niche, but were never mainstream. Cute compact cars like the SX4 and the Samurai did not appeal to everybody in the US market. Suzuki must have realized this and knew they had to produce a larger car with more mainstream appeal. The Suzuki Kizashi is not a hip little car, it’s an adult mid-sized sedan designed to compete with Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord. For the price, the Kizashi may have them all beat.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Suzuki |Tags:, || 3 Comments »

2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack Review

Thursday September 17th, 2009 at 4:99 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2010 Suzuki SX4 Crossover
Review by Danny Chang
(Updated with a counterpoint view June 5, 2010)


  • Available with AWD
  • Passes agility tests better than a Border Collie
  • Gets you from point A to point B
  • Don’t have to look for the bus pass
  • Way better than a Yugo


  • Slightly more powerful than a lawnmower
  • Unimpressive styling even with new aero kit
  • Underwhelming MPG

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Suzuki |Tags:, || 6 Comments »

Superfly 2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack

Tuesday September 1st, 2009 at 1:99 AM
Posted by: Derek

In 2008, Suzuki came out ready to brawl in the sport compact class with a four-door, sport-oriented sedan, the SX4 Sport. This pugsly fighter came rumbling onto the street scene with front-wheel drive instead of power robbing AWD, a sport-tuned suspension that rides lower than its more sedate siblings, 17 inch wheels, and an aero kit to give it a lower ride height. Suzuki even fitted a rear crossbrace in the sedan’s trunk for a 15 percent increase in structural rigidity over their corresponding hatchback model. The little sedan, with sporty aspirations, was outfitted with a 2.0L powerplant capable of producing 143 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque — all in an affordable package.

With the 2010 SX4 SportBack model, Suzuki wanted to spice up the hatchback version of the SX4 Crossover using a similar formula as the SX4 Sport sedan. The parasitic all-wheel drive system was replaced by more efficient front-wheel drive, a slightly larger and more powerful engine became standard, and an aero kit complemented with 17 inch wheels and tires developed by Dunlop specifically for the SX4 Sport completed the makeover. A peek inside this fancy crossover five-door reveals an all-new instrument cluster, aluminum-look trim accents (including the pedals), and integrated nav-system.

Drive-off video of the 2010 SX4 SportBack after the jump

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Suzuki, Tuner News |Tags:, || No Comments »

Suzuki is Hot on New Equator

Wednesday March 11th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: m35man

Suzuki Equator

Suzuki has been one of the best-kept secrets among the world’s automakers for a long time now, at least in the United States. But now, they’re coming to the forefront in a big way, with big plans that include their newest pickup truck, the Equator.

Long known for making motorcycles, ATVs and outboards, Suzuki is launching the Equator. Many people don’t realize that Suzuki is the 12th-largest automaker in the world, outselling big names like Dodge, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Their Wagon R is the best-selling vehicle in Japan, where it sells more cars than all in the entire U.S.

Before production began, Suzuki started consulting with several major off-roading publications to find out what their customers want from the Equator. If you want to know what revs these enthusiasts’ engines, why not go to the source? It’s a smart marketing move that seems to be gaining traction, because so far word on the Equator has been very positive.

Read portions of an article that appeared in The Detroit News after the jump:

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The Suzuki Equator

Monday December 15th, 2008 at 6:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

A question: Is this about as practical as a vehicle can get?

No, not the Suzuki Equator specifically, we’ll get to this neat and affordable little truck in a bit, but I mean four door pickup trucks in general. I had seen pictures of these things in the home market and from places like Australia and New Zealand, and I’d always think, “Why can’t we get those in The States?” They are just so practical. You can carry four people (everybody gets their own door) and you can carry stuff in the bed, but not only that, you can carry people AND stuff.

Well finally, various Japanese marques started bringing these in, and I think we’re better off for it.

What we have here is the Suzuki Equator. It’s a mid-sized truck that shares its platform with the Nissan Frontier. Ringing the cash register at $17,995, you get a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque with a five-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive in extended cab body style. If you’d like, you can get a 4.0L V6 engine with more grunt, a five-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive and four doors. Fully-loaded, and you’ll cash out north of the $30,000 mark.

So why aren’t there more of these things out there, they sure are cooler than a minivan.

Source: AutoBlog

Posted in Press and News |Tags:, || 1 Comment »

Nissan Out of Detroit AND Chicago Shows

Tuesday November 25th, 2008 at 10:1111 AM
Posted by: tonyb

File this under “Uh-oh!”.

In another worrying sign, and hot on the the heals of Suzuki, Nissan has just announced it is pulling out of the North American International Auto show in Detroit. not only that, they’re also pulling out of the Chicago show too. So that now gives us a list of Porsche, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Ferrari, Land Rover and Rolls-Royce, and Nissan that aren’t interested in showing at Detroit.

What none of these car companies, or journalists have been able to explain is: Why? Why pull out of the biggest car show in the biggest car market in the world?

Some companies have simply scaled back and reprioritized things; a lot of them shuffled big debuts off to the Los Angeles show, but that’s only a half-answer at best.

Frankly, I don’t have a handle on it. It’s not like Detroit is going to disappear. Even in some ultra-free market/Stephen Colbert nightmare, the Earth isn’t going to open up and swallow Detroit whole. Say things get as bad as they could. By this time tomorrow, GM, Ford & Chrysler have completely shut down operations and fired everybody. Sure, huge economic catastrophe, but the city, and the workers and the factories will still be there. Something would be done with them, it’s not like Detroit (and Lansing and Flint et al) would just dry up and blow away like some mining boom down in Nevada, circa 1892.

So, Porsche, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Ferrari, Land Rover and Rolls-Royce, and Nissan, what gives?

Source: AutoBlog

Posted in Nissan, Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , || 1 Comment »

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