Japanese OEMs' performance and product plans in North America
Toyota introduces derivative models of Prius, Honda large/midsize PHEV, and Nissan Leaf EV
In the US, the 2010 sales of light vehicles were 11.59 million, up 11.1% from 2009. As the demand for models including pickup trucks, which shrank due to recession, has gradually recovered, sales of light trucks and passenger cars increased by 18.2% and 5.2%, respectively, from 2009.
The three US OEMs sold 5.261 million, up 12.4％, recovering their share of the market by 0.5 percentage points to 45.4%. On the other hand, seven Japanese OEMs increased their sales by 6.4% to 4.476 million, but lost their share of the market by 1.7 percentage points to 38.6%.
Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki decreased their market share while Nissan and Subaru increased their share of the market. The market share of Mazda and Mitsubishi remain unchanged from 2009.
The following report outlines the business performance and product plans of Japanese OEMs in North America, where the economy is gradually recovering. Most of these Japanese OEMs have introduced green vehicles including HEV, PHEV, and EV. In addition, Toyota launches Lexus CT200h in the entry-luxury segment; Honda introduces a compact car under Acura brand. Mazda and Mitsubishi launch a compact crossover, CX-5 and Outlander Sport, respectively, while Nissan transfers production of the Rogue midsize SUV to North America.
Sales of new light vehicles in the US by manufacturer
|Fuji Heavy Industries||200,703||187,208||187,699||216,652||263,820||21.8%||2.1%||2.3%|
|Source: Automotive News 2011.1.4|
|(Note) 1.||GM includes Saab vehicles until February 2010 (Saab was sold to Spyker Cars on February 23, 2010).|
|2.||Ford includes Volvo vehicles until July 2010 (Volvo was sold to China-based Geely Holding Group on August 2, 2010).|
|3.||European OEMs include Mercedes-Benz vehicles during the DaimlerChrysler period and vehicles of Jaguar and Land Rover, which are under the umbrella of Tata motors. In addition, they include Saab vehicles in March 2010 and later, and Volvo vehicles in August 2010 and later.|
Toyota to add three derivative models of Prius in 2011-2012
Toyota's 2010 sales in the US declined by 0.4% year-on-year due partly to a recall problem and the end of product lifetime of its core model, the Camry, yielding the second place of the market share to Ford. In 2011, the company expects that its sales in the US will be 1.9 million, up 8% from 2010, with introduction of several new models including the redesigned Camry.
Toyota announced that it will make the Corolla, Camry, pickup trucks, and Prius Family into four core products in the US at the Detroit Auto Show held in January 2011. The company also announced that it will add three derivative models (wagon, PHEV, and hatchback for young customers) of Prius to the Prius Family in 2011-2012.
In addition, at the end of 2010, the Lexus brand set its new brand theme, "progressive luxury," saying that it will focus on hybrid vehicles, advanced telematics, and sporty packages. It will introduce CT200h, which is a hybrid vehicle in the entry-luxury segment, in the spring of 2011.
Toyota's business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Consolidated unit sales||2,942||2,958||2,212||2,097||2,090||904||1,041||15.2%|
|Consolidated production volume||1,205||1,268||919||1,042||452||670||48.2%|
|Exports to North America||1,408||1,304||928||690||660||313||322||2.9%|
|Source: Toyota's consolidated financial results|
|(Note) 1.||Revenue and operating profit are based on segment information by region. Exports to North America refer to exports from Japan. (This Note 1 applies to all manufacturers in the tables below.)|
|2.||Except for exports which are based on Toyota's non-consolidated results, all the other categories include data from Hino Motors.|
|3.||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in November 2010. The FY2010 forecasts made as of May 2010 were as follows: consolidated unit sales at 2.17 million with exports at 720,000.|
Toyota's plans for the Prius Family in North America
|Basic policy||At the Detroit Auto Show held in January 2011, Toyota Motor President Toyoda announced that the company will make Corolla, Camry, pickup trucks, and Prius family into the four core products in North America.|
|Toyota adds three derivative models of Prius HEV in 2011-2012 to form the Prius Family, planning to make it into the most-selling model under Toyota brand in the US by 2020. Depending on the sales volume, the company may manufacture the product in the US.|
|Prius Family||Prius v (to be launched in the summer of 2011) is a 5-seat wagon. Its cargo space is 50% larger than that of the Prius; its fuel consumption gets worse by only 20%.|
|Prius PHEV (to be launched in the first half of 2012) is leased to certain users starting at the end of 2009. It will be marketed in the first half of 2012. The model is Toyota's first model that uses a Li-ion battery and can run about 13 miles in EV mode. It takes three hours and 90 minutes to charge the battery on 110V and 220V, respectively. The price of the model is to be set lower than USD40, 000 than the Chevrolet Volt.|
|Prius c (to be launched in the first half of 2012) is a hatchback targeting young customers, which is more fuel efficient and is priced lower than the current Prius.|
Source: Automotive News 2010.9.27/2011.1.4/1.10
Toyota's product plans for North America
|2011MY||New Sienna||New Sienna is a minivan. It was fully remodeled and was released in the spring of 2010.|
|2012MY||New Yaris||New Yaris uses a newly-developed 1500cc engine and a 6-speed AT.|
|New Camry||New Camry is to be released at the end of 2011 or at the beginning of 2012.|
|New RAV4||New RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV. Its interior is upgraded and its exterior features renewed wild design. The model competes with Honda CR-V. The RAV4 EV, which is currently being developed with Tesla Motors, is scheduled to be launched in 2012.|
|Sporty coupe||This sporty coupe has been developed jointly with Subaru. The concept model is dubbed FT-86. The model will use a boxer 4-cylinder engine.|
|2013MY||New Highlander||New Highlander is a midsize crossover SUV that undergoes a minor change in 2011MY and will be fully remodeled in 2013MY.|
|2011MY||iQ||The iQ is a 4-seat mini car to be introduced at the beginning of 2011. The model that is currently marketed in Japan and Europe uses a 100hp 1.3L 4-cylinder engine. An EV version based on the iQ is scheduled to be introduced in 2012.|
|New tC||New tC is a sport coupe that is based on the Avensis. It is developed in North America and is Scion's exclusive model. It was fully remodeled in the fall of 2010 and uses a more powerful 2.5L 4-cylinder engine.|
|2013MY||New xB||New xB is a 5-door wagon (Japanese name: Corolla Rumion). It is scheduled to be fully remodeled in the summer of 2012.|
|New xD||New xD is a subcompact car (Japanese name: ist). The company is considering substantial upgrading in the summer of 2012.|
|2011MY||CT 200h||CT 200h is a 5-door hatchback in the entry-luxury segment. It is a compact hybrid vehicle that comes with a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine and a motor. Its body size is about the same as that of the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.|
|2012MY||New GS||New GS is expected to be fully remodeled in the spring of 2011. The model competes with BMW 5 Series and M-Benz E-Class.|
|LFA||LFA is an ultra-high-end super car that was launched in December 2010. Only 500 coupes are marketed worldwide, and then a roadster version is expected to be released around January 2014.|
|New ES||New ES is a midsize sedan that is based on Toyota Camry. A hybrid model may be made available.|
|2013MY||New IS||New IS is a premium sport sedan in the compact car segment. The model competes with BMW 3 Series.|
|New LS||New LS is Lexus' highest-end sedan.|
|Source: Automotive News 2010.9.27, Toyota Press Release 2010.11.18|
|(Note) Excluding plan for Prius Family shown before.|
Honda to introduce midsize and large PHEVs and Fit EV in 2012
In 2010, Honda increased sales in the US only by 6.9% year-on-year due partly to the end of the product lifetime of its core model, the Civic, losing the share of the market by 0.4 percentage points to 10.6%.
Honda will fully remodel its core model, the Civic, in the spring of 2011, saying that it will recover the market share that it lost in 2010.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010, Honda unveiled its plan for eco cars in North America. It will introduce CR-Z in 2011MY and a hybrid version of the New Civic in 2012MY, enhancing its lineup of hybrid vehicles. In 2012, it will introduce large/mid-size PHEV and Fit EV.
The Acura brand modifies its pursuit of up-market and discontinues development of a V8 engine and a rear-wheel-drive product while it aims to increase sales of crossovers with efficient packaging including MDX and RDX. Honda is planning to re-enter the compact car segment in 2012, from which the Acura brand withdrew once before.
Honda's business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Consolidated unit sales||1,788||1,850||1,496||1,297||1,475||623||738||18.5%|
|Exports to North America||263||366||414||133||68||111||62.9%|
|Source: Honda's consolidated Financial Results, Press Release 2010.4.26/10.25|
|(Note)||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in October 2010. As of April 2010, the company forecasted that its FY2010 sales would be 1.48 million.|
Honda's plan for eco cars in North America
|Enhancement of lineups of hybrid vehicles||In addition to the Insight, Honda will introduce CR-Z in 2011MY and a hybrid version of New Civic in 2012MY in the US. The Civic Hybrid is Honda's first model that uses a Li-ion battery.|
|Next-generation PHEV||The next-generation PHEV that Honda is scheduled to launch in 2012 is a large/midsize model with two high-power motors and can run up to 10-15 miles in EV mode. It uses a Li-ion battery that can be charged in a short period of time.|
|Fit EV||The company exhibited the Fit EV concept for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010. The model is a commuter that is suitable for traveling in an urban area. The company utilizes the electric technology that it has accumulated on its fuel cell vehicle, FCX Clarity, achieving a maximum speed of 145km/h and a maximum cruising range of 160km. It takes less than 12 hours and less than 6 hours to recharge the battery on 120V and on 240V, respectively. Honda will begin a trial on a prototype model in 2010, planning to release the product in 2012.|
Source: Honda Press Release 2010.11.18
Honda's product plans for North America
|2011MY||CR-Z||CR-Z is a hybrid compact sport model that combines a 1.5 i-VTEC engine and Honda's original hybrid system. Only a 2-seat model is available in North America.|
|New Odyssey||New Odyssey is a minivan which newly uses a 6-speed AT. A hybrid version may not be available.|
|2012MY||New Civic||The company will fully remodel the Civic (sedan) and Civic Si (sport coupe) in the spring of 2011. The characteristics of the two models are a body with monoform design, the exterior with emphasis on dynamism and strength, and a comfortable interior space. A hybrid vehicle and a CNG model will be available.|
|New CR-V||(or in 2013MY) New CR-V is a compact crossover SUV. The model continues to use an 180hp 2.4L engine, but a V6 model and a hybrid version will not be available.|
|2013MY||New Accord||The company plans to make the new model slightly smaller than the current model as the current one is made too large.|
|New Ridgeline||(or in 2014MY) New Ridgeline is a pickup truck. The new model is expected to use New Odyssey's platform.|
|2011MY||TSX wagon||The company launched TSX wagon, which is based on Honda Accord wagon designed for Europe, in the fall of 2010. It is a front-wheel-drive model. Only a 4-cylider engine model is available.|
|2012MY||New RDX||New RDX is a compact crossover SUV. The model competes with BMW X3.|
|New MDX||(or in 2013MY) New MDX is a crossover SUV. It may be fully remodeled in 2013MY after Honda's hybrid system for large vehicles has been developed.|
|to be determined||compact||The company has had no model in this segment since the production of the RSX was discontinued in 2006. The model is based on the new Honda Civic and is planned to be launched as early as in the spring of 2012.|
|Source: Automotive News 2010.9.27, Honda Press Release 2010.10.28/11.18/2011.1.11|
|(Note) Excluding plan for next-generation PHEV and Fit EV shown before.|
Nissan to step up introduction of Leaf EV and to transfer production of Rogue midsize SUV to the US
In 2010, Nissan enjoyed strong sales of light trucks including Rogue midsize SUV and Frontier pickup truck, boosting sales by 18.0% in the US, also increasing the market share by 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%.
Nissan will introduce the Leaf EV, the Quest minivan, the Murano CrossCabriolet, and NV-series light-duty commercial vehicles in North America in the second half of FY2010. The company started marketing the Leaf EV in five states in December 2010, planning to sell it across the US by the fall of 2011.
In the production in North America, in order to establish a structure that is less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations, Nissan plans to transfer production of the Rogue midsize SUV to the US around 2013, when it will be remodeled.
Nissan's business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Retail unit sales||1,334||1,352||1,133||1,067||1,220||519||580||11.8%|
|Consolidated production volume||1,123||1,151||868||837||1,020||360||512||42.2%|
|Source: Nissan's consolidated financial results|
|(Note)||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in November 2010. The FY2010 forecasts made as of May 2010 were as follows: unit sales at 1.205 million with production volume at 990,000.|
Nissan's plan for introduction of Leaf EV in North America
|In December 2010, Nissan launched the Leaf EV in five states, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee, where it carries out projects for EVs and the infrastructure. The company releases the Leaf in Texas and Hawaii in January 2011, and in seven states, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Alabama, as well as in Washington D.C. in April, marketing it across the US by the fall of 2011.|
|Initially, Nissan produces the Leaf at its Oppama plant in Japan, exporting it, but at the end of 2012, it will begin production at its Smyrna plant in Tennessee. The Smyrna plant plans to produce 150,000 units of the Leaf and Li-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles per year.|
Source: Nissan Press Release (July 27, 2010)
Nissan's product plans for North America
|2011MY||Juke||Juke is a compact crossover SUV. It was released in Japan in the summer of 2010 and Europe in the fall of the same year. Its design integrates the swiftness of a compact sports car and the strength and comfort of an SUV.|
|Murano CrossCabriolet||Murano CrossCabriolet is a model in a new category, which goes beyond the category of a crossover SUV and Cabriolet. Replacing Murano's roof with a power-folding soft-top, the CrossCabriolet uses a 2-door structure without B pillar, which is longer in front and back than the current 4-door structure. The company considers it to be a model that shows Nissan's innovative design rather than a mass-produced model.|
|New Quest||In 2009, Nissan discontinued production of the Quest, a minivan, in the US. The model shares the platform with the Elgrand for Japan and will be produced in Japan.|
|2012MY||NV full-sized van||NV full-sized van is Nissan's light-duty commercial vehicle that it is to introduce for the first time in North America. The company plans to release three models in the middle of 2011. NV1500 uses a 4.0L V6 engine, NV3500 a 5.6L V8 engine, and NV2500 a V6 or V8 engine.|
|2013MY||New Versa||(or in 2013MY) New Versa is a compact sedan/hatchback and Nissan's entry model for North America.|
|New Titan||(or in 2014MY) New Titan is a full-size pickup. Since Chrysler cancelled an OEM contract for New Titan in August 2009, Nissan will independently develop the model.|
|New Pathfinder||(or in 2014MY) New Pathfinder is a midsize SUV. The current model shares the platform with the Titan and will be remodeled when the Titan undergoes a redesign.|
|New Armada||(or in 2014MY) New Armada is a large SUV. Its production was reported to be discontinued in 2009, but Nissan announced that it would continue production in 2010. The current model shares the platform with the Titan and will be remodeled when the Titan undergoes a redesign|
|Small van||NV 200, a small commercial van that's 173.2 inches in length and 66.7 inches in width, may be introduced. Two types of NV200 are available - a 5-/7-seat passenger van and a cargo van. The company may release an EV version.|
|New Rogue||(or in 2014MY) A crossover SUV. New Rogue uses the New C platform for midsize vehicles, which it is jointly developing with Renault. The company aims to cut costs by 30% compared to the current model.|
|2011MY||G25||G25 is an entry-level sedan that uses a 2.5L V6 218hp engine instead of G37's 3.7L V6 328hp engine. It was released in September 2010. Nissan expects sales of G-class models to increase by 30% with this model.|
|New M||New M, which is a fully-remodeled M37/M56 sedan, was launched in March 2010. The company plans to introduce a hybrid version, M35h, in the spring of 2011.|
|New QX||New QX is a full-size SUV that was fully-remodeled in July 2010. The model is based on the Patrol SUV, which is manufactured in Japan for overseas markets.|
|2013MY||EV model||(or in 2014MY) Nissan plans to launch a high-end 5-seat compact luxury EV around 2013.|
|Source: Nissan's Press Release 2010.11.17, Automotive News 2010.9.27, and others|
|(Note) 1.||Excluding plan for Leaf EV shown before.|
|2.||In order to minimize the influence of exchange-rate fluctuations, Nissan plans to transfer production of Rogue midsize SUVs for North America from its Kyushu plant in Japan to its Smyrna plant in Tennessee around 2013, when the model is fully remodeled. The company is expected to transfer the production since it forecasts that the demand for midsize SUVs will increase as customers are more aware of low fuel consumption.|
Fuji Heavy Industries enjoys strong sales of New Forester and New Legacy/Outback, boosting its production capacity by 30% in North America
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI)has been increasing sales in the US as sales of the New Forester (launched in 2008) and New Legacy/Outback (launched in 2009), which have a wider interior space designed for the US, contributed to the increased sales in the US market, which shrank substantially after the economic crisis in 2008. In 2010, the company boosted sales by 21.8% year-on-year, increasing its market share to 2.3% (1.4% in 2008 and 2.1% in 2009).
In 2012MY, FHI will launch a sporty coupe, which it jointly develops with Toyota, and New Impreza. In 2013, the company plans to introduce a hybrid vehicle in North America, which it is to develop through technical assistance from Toyota.
Fuji Heavy Industries' business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Consolidated unit sales||207||210||207||250||302||108||144||33.3%|
|Exports to North America||90||96||124||118||n.a.||n.a.||-|
|Source: FHI's consolidated financial results, Fact Book, Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2011.1.6|
|(Note)||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in November 2010. The FY2010 forecasts made as of May 2010 were as follows: consolidated unit sales at 270,000 with production volume at 146,000.|
Fuji Heavy Industries' product plans for North America (Subaru Brand)
|2012MY||Sporty coupe||(or in 2013MY) The model is a sporty coupe that is jointly developed with Toyota. Subaru improves its brand image with the model. It comes with a boxer 4-cylinder engine, which FHI develops.|
|New Impreza||The company plans to fully remodel the compact sedan and the 5-door hatchback. A hybrid version may be made available through Toyota's technical assistance.|
|Source: Automotive News 2010.9.6/11.2, Reuters 2011.1.11|
|(Note) 1.||At the Detroit Auto Show held in January 2011, FHI unveiled its plan to launch a hybrid vehicle designed for the US under the Subaru brand in 2013. It did not mention a concrete model.|
|2.||At the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010, FHI announced its new brand slogan in the US, "Confidence in Motion." The slogan shows that the company puts emphasis on technology, safety, and innovation that responds to customers' needs.|
|3.||In FY2010, in order to prepare for the increase in sales of the Legacy, FHI boosted the production capacity of its production facility in North America, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, by 30%. It also augmented the production capacity of its plants in Japan in order to respond to an increase in demand for engines and transmission in North America.|
|4.||FHI will prepare a dealer network in the south of the US in 2011, planning to boost its share of new vehicle sales in that region from the current level of about 0.5% to 1.5%. The number of its dealers across the US is expected to increase by more than 100 (Subaru 4WD vehicles hold a larger share in the north part of the US, where snow falls and there are a lot of slopes, while it holds a smaller share in the south).|
Mazda to introduce a next-generation fuel efficient SKY-G gasoline engine in North America in 2011
In 2010, Mazda enjoyed strong sales of Mazda3, CX-7, and CX-9 and boosted sales in the US by 10.5% year-on-year. The company maintained the market share of 2.0%--the same level as 2009.
Following its product plans for North America, Mazda will launch New Mazda5 (Premacy) and the CX-5 (a crossover that succeeds the Tribute) in 2012MY.
Mazda will develop a next-generation fuel saving technology (SKY concept) in order to improve fuel efficiency by 30% from 2008 by 2015. In North America, it will introduce a next-generation direct-injection gasoline engine, the SKY-G, in 2011, and a diesel-powered engine, the SKY-D, in 2012.
Mazda's business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Retail unit sales||380||406||347||307||358||158||177||12.0%|
|Exports to North America||307||280||236||240||99||136||36.9%|
|Source: Mazda's consolidated financial results, Mazda in Brief 2010|
|(Note) 1.||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in April 2010.|
|2.||Production volume is on a calendar year basis and includes the volume of the Tribute produced at the Ford Kansas City plant.|
Mazda's product plans for North America
|2011MY||Mazda2||Mazda2 is a compact 5-door hatchback that was introduced in the summer of 2010. It is the smallest model among Mazda's vehicles marketed in North America. It comes with a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine, boasting fuel consumption of 30mpg/28mpg (highway/city).|
|2012MY||New Mazda5||New Mazda5 is a compact minivan. The new model will adopt the design of the Mazda Nagare and a fuel efficient engine, and will also update its interior.|
|CX-5 crossover||(or in 2013MY) The CX-5 crossover is a successor of the Tribute. While the Tribute uses the platform of Ford Escape, the CX-5 will use Mazda's platform.|
|2013MY||New Mazda6||New Mazda6 is a midsize car that competes with Toyota Camry. It will undergo a minor change in 2011MY. It will be fully remodeled in 2013MY, planning to use more than 1 type of the SKY engine.|
|New CX-7||New CX-7 is a midsize crossover. It plans to use a gasoline-powered or diesel-powered SKY engine.|
|New CX-9||New CX-9 is the largest model among Mazda's crossovers.|
|Source: Mazda's Press Release 2010.11.18, Automotive News 2010.9.6|
|(Note) 1.||According to an operation plan of SKY technology in North America, which was announced in April 2010, Mazda will introduce a product that combines a next-generation direct-injection gasoline engine, the SKY-G, with a highly efficient AT SKY-Drive in 2011 and will also introduce a SKY diesel-powered engine in 2012. Mazda plans to use the product in the entire vehicle that it markets in North America in 2014MY or 2015MY.|
|2.||Mazda sticks to its policy in which it enhances its brand value through the minimization of the fleet rate and incentives in North America. The residual value of Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-9 in the US is among the highest in the segment.|
|3.||Ford lowered its investment ratio in Mazda from 33.4% to 13% in November 2008, and further to 3.5% in November 2010. The companies say that their strategic alliance will continue. They continue joint production in the US and Thailand, but dissolved their joint venture in China. They are said to be intending to develop new engines and eco-friendly technology independently.|
Mitsubishi plans to turn around its slumping business in North America through introduction of EVs and compact cars
Mitsubishi intends to turn around its business in North America, where it continues to suffer slumping sales, by introducing EVs and compact cars. It will start marketing the Outlander Sport compact SUV (Japanese name: RVR) in 2010. It is expected to introduce the i-MiEV EV in the middle of 2011 and Global small (A segment car for the global market) in 2012.
Mitsubishi Motors' business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Retail unit sales||164||172||119||88||104||46||43||-6.5%|
|Source: Mitsubishi's consolidated financial results, Automotive News 2010.12.20|
|(Note)||The forecasts for FY2010 were announced in October 2010. As of April 2010, the company forecasted that its FY2010 retail unit sales would be 109,000.|
Mitsubishi's product plans for North America
|2011MY||Outlander Sport||Outlander Sport is a compact crossover (Japanese name: RVR) launched in the fall of 2010. The wheel base of the new model is the same as that of the Outlander, which has already been marketed in North America, but the overall length and width are slightly shorter. The overall height is also shorter. It uses the same 2.0L 4-cylider engine as the Lancer. The sales target is 17,000 a year.|
|2012MY||i-MiEV||The i-MiEV is scheduled to be introduced in November 2011. It will be initially marketed in three states on the west coast and Hawaii State. The price is planned to be lower than USD30, 000. Its model name in North America is Mitsubishi "i" powered by MiEV Technology.|
|2013MY||Global Small||Global Small is an A-segment compact car that is being developed for the global market. It comes with a 1.0-1.3L 3-cylidner engine. The price is planned to be lower than USD12, 000. The company will introduce the model by the end of 2012 and is also scheduled to introduce the PHEV or EV model in 2013.|
|Source: Automotive News 2010.9.6|
|(Note)||Mitsubishi's Illinois plant in the US will eliminate exclusive models for North America - Galant, Endeavor, and Eclipse - which are currently being produced by FY2013. The company plans to gradually shift production of global strategic cars including the Outlander SUV, which are expected to be exported to neighboring countries (reported in January 2011).|
Suzuki, revamping its product plan through its alliance with VW, has postponed its introduction of New Swift in North America until 2011 or later
Suzuki sold more than 100,000 a year in the US in 2006-2007. Yet, its sales started to plummet in 2008, down to 39,000 in 2009. In order to fill in the lack in its lineup, it launched the Kizashi midsize sedan at the end of 2009, whose sales were lower than expected. In 2010, Suzuki also decreased sales by 38.0% year-on-year to 24,000.
Suzuki was scheduled to introduce New Swift, which it is not currently marketing in the US, in the fall of 2010, but has postponed it until 2011 or later as it revamps its product plan through its comprehensive alliance with VW.
Suzuki's business performance in North America
|(1,000 units, million yen)|
|Consolidated unit sales||113||112||70||39||n.a.||21||15||-28.6%|
Source: Suzuki's consolidated financial results
Suzuki's product plan for North America
|2011MY||New Swift||(or in 2012MY) Suzuki had discontinued marketing of the Swift in North America since 2001MY, but is planning to resume selling it in North America beginning with a new model that it released in Japan in September 2010. It was originally planned to introduce the model in North America in the fall of 2010, but has postponed it until 2011 or later. The company says that this is a move in order to revamp its product plan through a comprehensive alliance with VW, which it agreed upon in December 2009, and to reconsider its price strategy due to the appreciation of the yen.|
|Source: Automotive News 2010.9.6|
|(Note)||In December 2009, VW took about a 20% share of Suzuki; the companies agreed to form a comprehensive alliance. Centered on the response to emerging markets and on the development and supply of compact cars, they aim to achieve synergistic effects. It is expected to take about one year to adjust the partnership and a few years for them to achieve concrete results.|
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