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Old 01-26-2007, 08:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Suzuki raises 2007 sales 8% on overseas demand; May hold GM's 17% stake longer

Suzuki Sales & Production Ramp Up; GM's 1-year Stake Buyback Deadline to be Deferred
25 Jan 2007bbj.hu

Suzuki Motor Corp., Japan's fourth-largest automaker, plans to raise sales 8% this year as overseas demand for its compact cars rises, will increase production capacity in Hungary.

The company plans to sell 2.35 million vehicles in 2007, compared with 2.17 million last year, Suzuki said in a release today. Domestic vehicle sales including minicars will fall 3% to 675,000, while overseas sales will rise 13% to 1.68 million. Chairman Osamu Suzuki will spend ¥1 trillion ($8.3 billion) for the five years ending March 2010 to expand global production, as models including the SX4 and Swift compact cars attract more buyers.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo today, Osamu Suzuki said he's not worried about Daihatsu replacing Suzuki as the biggest minicar maker as long as his company's total production is growing. The chairman, who turns 77 next week, also said he plans to keep his position „as long as I'm alive.”

Industry-wide sales of minicars, powered by engines no larger than 0.66 liters, rose 5.2% in Japan to a record 2.02 million vehicles in 2006, according to the Japan Mini Vehicles Association. Sales may drop 3.1% to 1.96 million this year, the group said. Suzuki, which released two new minicar designs in 2006, had a 30.2% share of Japan's mini-vehicle market last year. Daihatsu, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp., plans to raise minicar sales at home 3.3% to 620,000 units, the company said in December, introduced three new models, and had a 29.7% market share.

Suzuki plans to open a new plant next year to build only compact cars, in Sagara City, near its head office. The company has been trimming its minicar production in Japan since September.

General Motors Corp., the world's largest carmaker, in March 2006 reduced its stake in Suzuki to 3% from 20%, by selling a 17% stake to Suzuki Motor for 230 billion yen. Suzuki said at that time it would hold the 17% stake for a year to give GM the option of buying it back. Osamu Suzuki said today his company may keep the stake longer. „We agreed to keep a good long-term strategic partnership,” he said, referring to a November meeting with GM CEO Rick Wagoner. „So we don't need to stick with the deadline.” GM and Suzuki have partnerships including joint production in Canada and co-development of fuel-cell cars and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.

Source:
www.bbj.hu :: Suzuki to raise 2007 sales 8% on overseas demand - extended


The Automotive Amanojaku - Ming's Place: Suzuki Sales & Production Ramp Up; GM's 1-year Stake Buyback Deadline to be Deferred

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