Drive Type: 4 wheel drive
Trim: 2 door
Waterford Works, New Jersey, United States
Following word that Suzuki is ceasing car sales in America, it appears that demand for the Japanese automaker's wares have increased. According to The Detroit News, American Suzuki Motor Corp. will import an additional 2,500 vehicles to quench demand that has jumped since the company announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and ending sales in America.
Dealers recently informed their sales personnel that no more vehicles would be produced and that this was the final push. With heavy incentives and a seven-year warranty as value-adds, November sales for Suzuki rose in November some 22 percent, up to 2,224 vehicles. December sales also rose, but neither month's gains outweigh the long-term losses for the automaker. While Suzuki will sell roughly 22,000 cars this year in the US, it was selling about 120,000 annually before 2008.
As it stands, Suzuki will sell off the rest of its vehicle inventory, including the 2,500 additional units, and dealers will continue to provide parts an warranty work. With all of this negative news for the automaker, it's impressive to see an interest in Suzuki vehicles even with the imminent shuttering of its North American car sales.
Despite the fact that the coffin has been sealed on Suzuki's US automotive arm, the brand is carrying on elsewhere in the world. The first new product to spearhead the Japanese automaker's product offerings in Europe is this SX4 crossover, making its official debut here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. You may remember the little SX4 as the cheapest all-wheel-drive car on sale in the US, packing cute styling and efficient, affordable packaging. And it doesn't appear that the formula has changed too much for this new generation, despite what we think are less attractive new duds derived from Suzuki's 2012 S Cross Concept.
The new SX4 is powered by a choice of two 1.6-liter engines - one diesel, one petrol - the former mated to a six-speed manual transmission while the latter uses a CVT with a "seven-speed manual mode" operated by steering wheel-mounted paddles. All-wheel drive remains intact on the SX4, now with four driver-selectable modes and the Allgrip name.
Suzuki is touting the SX4 as having the world's first double sliding glass sunroof, offering "the largest opening areas" in the segment. Overall, the updated interior looks nicely designed and quite functional, though not exactly a shining beacon of refinement.
Suzuki's plant in Manesar, India builds cars for Australia, specifically its Alto small car. Or at least they were building cars before violent worker riots forced the factory to close. The plant has been idled for five weeks as a result of worker violence that led to the death of one manager and 95 injuries. The riot was spurred over a labor dispute - specifically, a gulf in salaries between temporary workers and their salaried counterparts who earn triple the contract workers' wages.
According to reports, on Tuesday, the factory re-opened with more than 1,200 police officers stationed around the plant. The staff of actual workers at the plant numbers just 75 currently, meaning the police force greatly outnumbers Suzuki employees.
The number of employees will eventually grow to 300, and the officers will run in shifts of 100 at a time, but the initial disparity of workers to police is meant as a show of force to the more than 500 permanent and 500 temporary workers who were found to be involved in a July 18 riot.