Changan Suzuki to benefit from making Fiat Sedici.
source: Gasgoo.comSeptember 22, 2008 - Chongqing Changan Suzuki is set to make the Sedici crossover model for Fiat later this year, and this OEM project will have a positive impact on the joint venture, said First Financial Daily today, citing sources of the company.
The Sedici crossover jointly developed by Fiat and Suzuki is verly similar to the Suzuki SX4 model. Changan Suzuki, a joint venture between Changan Motors and Suzuki Motors, will have no technical obstacle to producing the Sedici crossover as an OEM project for Fiat. A top executive of the venture said that the rising output will reduce the manufacturing costs and this will benefit Changan Suzuki.
Suzuki's facility in Europe has OEM operations for Fiat, and in its native Japanese market, Suzuki has made most mini-vehicles of Mazda and Nissan. About 40% of the one million mini-cars or light vehicles sold annually in Japan are built by Suzuki. The Japanese carmaker's joint venture in China can do the same technically, said a technician from Changan Suzuki.
In Japan and Europe, most automakers enjoy great loyalty to their brands. A Suzuki mini-car carrying the Nissan label sells better among Nissan fans. The Sedici and Suzuki SX4 models are actually the same, despite some exterior difference. In China, Suzuki will be responsible for making the Sedici model while Fiat China will take charge of its sales and (after-sales) service. This is to explore the "brand loyalty" in China's auto market.
The light diesel engine project that Fiat is to build in Chongqing will also support Fiat's Chinese production of its vehicles. The project is planned to have investment of 1.8 billion yuan from Fiat and will produce 100,000 engines annually.
After its joint venture with Nanjing Auto ended at the end of last year, Fiat is determined to recover in the China market. The Italian carmaker has begun to sell its cars in China as imported vehicles while looking for new Chinese partners, including talks with Chery Auto and Guangzhou Auto.