Suzuki-Nissan tie-up to end
21st Apr 2010 7:00 am
VW deal means Nissan will look for a new supermini partner for its Pixo replacement.
Volkswagen’s tie-in with Suzuki means that the joint project on the Suzuki Alto/Nissan Pixo (sold as Maruti Suzuki A-star in India) will come to an end at the end of the current car’s life cycle.
But Nissan is committed to replacing the Pixo, either through another tie-in or by developing its own model. “The Pixo has done too well for us to walk away from that segment,” said a source.
Nissan has also begun a long-term project to produce a VW Golf rival, as part of its plans to enter new sectors of the car market and regain ground once occupied by the Nissan Almera.
VW Group chief Martin Winterkorn previously said that the recent buy-in to Japanese firm Suzuki is of "paramount significance" to both manufacturers.
VW took a 20 per cent stake in Suzuki late last year - with VW chief Ferdinand Piech saying that he'd been attracted by "cutting-edge supermini technology, better presence in emerging markets - and motorbikes".
The latter comment has sparked speculation that the VW Group could be considering building two-wheeled vehicles to accompany its burgeoning range of cars, vans and trucks.
Winterkorn said that VW and Suzuki are planning to work on joint projects. "We have set up a joint project office in Wolfsburg to coordinate cooperation," he said. "Work on concrete ideas and vehicle projects will begin in the coming weeks."