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Suzuki puts kibosh on Kizashi sedan, report says

Mon, 05 Jan 2009

Japanese automaker Suzuki has backed off plans to build large cars and build assembly plants overseas, according to a report in the Nikkei business newspaper.

Suzuki has shown a series of concept vehicles named Kizashi that executives said were pointing toward a production version of a large sedan. And pictures of sedan protoypes have been captured by spy photographers. The Kizashi has been expected to arrive in showrooms in early 2010.

But the global downturn in auto sales and the economic crisis has Suzuki rethinking its plans.

Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki, in an interview with Reuters last September, said it made little sense to launch a car into a shrinking segment of the market.

Suzuki officials were not available for comment on the report.

The Nikkei report said Suzuki would postpone plans to open assembly plants in Russia and Thailand in 2010.

By Dale Jewett