Changhe Suzuki to Start Production of WagonR

Suzuki is studying the possibility to start Chinese production of the WagonR and its local joint venture Changhe might be the one chosen to handle local operations. China Car Times writes Changhe will launch the car in 2010 and will build the 2008 Japanese model but will be equipped with a 1.4-liter engine mated to a 5-speed or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Suzuki is also considering a significant expansion in the United States and it is willing to do so with the help of several new models.

The company has already debuted the 2010 Kizashi sedan in the country, with the model to arrive in all North American dealerships before the end of the year.

Power comes from a 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine developed by Suzuki in the company's new manufacturing facility in Sagara, Japan. The engine develops a maximum output of 185 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm when equipped with a manual transmission. If the powertrain is mated to a CVT, the maximum output drops to 180 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

Furthermore, Suzuki wants to debut a hybrid model in the US by 2011 but it's still unclear which is the model to receive a green powertrain. It appears that the Kizashi is again the one to come in hybrid flavor, if we are to trust several rumors that appeared in the media recently.

"The market has been terrible,"
Gene Brown, American Suzuki's vice president of marketing and public relations, said in late July, "but that doesn't mean we're going to withdraw from the venture."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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