Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki has revealed that Suzuki XL7 production has been limited indefinitely, blaming decreased demand because of the inaccessibility of loans.
“It is an America-specific model,” Suzuki spokesman Hideo Kojima says. “But since the subprime loan problem, that segment has been hit the hardest. So we decided to suspend it.”
Suzuki makes the XL7 at a 50-50 joint venture with GM called CAMI, located in Ingersoll, Ontario. In addition to the XL7, the CAMI plant also produces the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent. The XL7 is the only vehicle that Suzuki makes in North America.
The XL7 is the largest vehicle Suzuki builds. It shares its underpinnings with GM’s Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent and Saturn Vue, but has an exclusive third row.
According to Automotive News, CAMI has made only four XL7 SUVs this year, compared with 12,407 last year. Kojima says the automaker hasn’t decided when production will continue, but CEO Suzuki says his company wants to continue its relationship with GM, and is confident the plant will stay open even if GM files for bankruptcy.
“The possibility that CAMI would be forced into closure or a production stop is 120 percent impossible,” he said yesterday, while delivering the company’s financial report. “It is a central pillar in the reconstruction plan, so I am not worried about it.”
Source: Automotive News