Monday, June 9, 2014

Suzuki's Future Product Plans (Part 3: The SUVs)

Suzuki has said that they are ready to introduce a host of new products within the next few years, and SUVs will be one of their key segments. The first new SUV to be introduced is a new B-segment SUV codenamed 'YAD', which will be followed by other new models.

2014/2015 - YAD SUV

The YAD is a B-Segment SUV developed from the iV4 Concept shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. When launched, the YAD will be Suzuki’s first completely new product in the SUV segment in almost ten years.
A spy shot of the YAD SUV
The YAD is based on a shortened version of the S Cross platform, will have very attractive design and wide personalization options, which will appeal to younger buyers. With the YAD, Suzuki will be able to increase their presence in the SUV segment and rediscover their strength in selling compact 4x4s.
A spy shot of the YAD SUV
Final production version of the YAD will be officially unveiled at this year’s Paris Motor Show taking place next October. The SUV will be powered by an option of 1.6litre petrol and diesel engine, and will feature Suzuki’s AllGrip four wheel drive technology.
The iV4 Concept at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013
The YAD is a global product, and will therefore be marketed in various markets all over the world, including Europe, Australia, and China, with initial mass production in Hungary and China.

2015 - YBA SUV (Sub-4 meter SUV)

This particular model is developed mainly for the Indian market, where cars that have a length of no more than 4 meters get tax benefits and can therefore be sold at a more competitive price. Codenamed YBA, Suzuki’s sub-4 meter SUV is a development of the XA Alpha concept revealed at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo.

The XA Alpha Concept displayed at The 2012 Delhi Auto Expo
At a length of no more than 4 meters, the YBA will sit between the Jimny and the upcoming YAD SUV. It will be powered by a choice of 1.4liter petrol engine, and a new 1.5liter diesel engine developed in-house by Suzuki.

The SUV is expected to be launched in the Indian market sometime in 2015. It is not yet known whether Maruti Suzuki will introduce the diesel version at launch or sometime later, because rumor has it that the new 1.5liter diesel engine won’t be ready till 2016.

Although mainly aimed at the Indian market, it seems that the YBA will also be marketed in other markets. Suzuki’s Australian head Tony Devers has said that they will have 2 important new models in 2015: the iV4 (YAD), and the new small SUV. Other markets such as South East Asia, particularly Indonesia, could also get this new SUV.

2015/2016 – New Mid-Sized SUV (Next Generation Grand Vitara)

In an interview with am-online, Suzuki UK’s Dale Wyatt said that a new mid-size SUV could also be arriving in 2015. A new mid-size SUV could possibly mean a long overdue replacement for the ageing Grand Vitara. However, not much detail is known about this particular model.

Next Generation Jimny

There has been rumors of Suzuki developing a replacement for the Jimny, particularly one for the Japanese Kei car market. Some Japanese automotive media and forums even released sketches predicting how the new Jimny would look like. Rumor has it the new kei-car version of the Jimny will arrive in Japan within 2014. The X-Lander concept car shown at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, which is based on Suzuki's ladder frame platform, might give us a clue of how the next-generation Jimny would look like. However, there hasn’t been any official confirmation from Suzuki, or other more concrete proof that the car will launch soon.
2013 Suzuki X-Lander concept
On the other hand, for the global market, it looks like the current generation Jimny will still be around for quite a while. In a May 2014 interview with am-online, Suzuki UK’s sales and marketing director, Dale Wyatt, said that there are no plans to replace the Jimny in three to four years time. But if a replacement does come, it will be “light, narrow, and simple”.
2004 Suzuki Landbreeze concept

Rumors of a planned replacement for the Jimny isn’t really something new, it has been around since before the Global Financial Crisis took place. European automotive medias reported that a next generation Jimny was originally planned for 2009. Suzuki even showed a concept called the “Landbreeze” which was a peak of how the next Jimny could look like. However, Suzuki took a very traditional approach towards the 2010s GFC, which lead to delays of new product launches.

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