By on March 31, 2010

Suzuki is saying sayonara to plans of hybrid and V6 equipped versions of their new Kizashi sedan. It’s not that they are against those mills. They just don’t like the company that makes them. That company is GM.

Automotive News [sub] points out that “those versions were meant to use technology borrowed from General Motors.” Just in case anybody had forgotten it, AN reminds its readers that GM sold its 20 percent stake in Suzuki in 2008. In December, Volkswagen agreed to become Suzuki’s biggest shareholder by taking a 19.9 percent stake.

Canceling the Kizashi Hybrid and Kizashi V-6 didn’t come easy to Suzuki. If you have a mid-sized sedan, you better have a V6, or a hybrid, or preferably both. Suzuki’s new beau to the rescue.

Suzuki has dispatched a team of engineers to Wolfsburg, to go over VW’s offerings. “We would be happy with a small V6 or a turbo-four,” said Steve Younan, director of product planning at American Suzuki. VW has a dizzying array of V6, and turbo everything engines. Both in their gasoline and diesel variants. How about a blown 3.0 V6 24v TFSI, good for 329 bhp? That would be nice in a Suzuki. Younan says that “the Kizashi suspension is not at its limit. We are trying to be an affordable performance brand.” The guys in Wolfsburg will set you right up.

VW’s hybrid offerings are nothing to write home about (they are working on it,) hence Younan won’t even mention them.

Instead, Younan is driving a hard bargain with his new stockholders in Deutschland:  “We are looking at VW’s cost structure and their offerings. We want to keep our cars reachable to mere mortals.” Come on, Steve, this is Volkswagen, the People’s Car Factory, you think they’ll overcharge you?

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22 Comments on “No More GM Mills For Suzuki...”

  • avatar

    Somehow I don’t see Audi allowing Suzuki to use the S4’s engine. The 2.0T on the other hand, sure, everybody in the VW group has one of those somewhere.

  • avatar

    The decision to not use GM engines is probably a good one, but I’m not sure that VW mills are the answer.

    One of the unique characteristics of early Honda and Suzuki automobiles was their motorcycle-like engines; not surprising, given both companies’ origins. Honda matured into an automaker, yet still offers some efficient, high-revving engines using technology as a substitute for more displacement.

    Those two-wheeled origins are what differentiated Suzuki from the rest of the industry, and one that Suzuki used to feature in its U.S. advertising before it became a bland also-ran in that market. There’s a fine line between being competitive, and being a mindless conformist.

  • avatar

    “They just don’t like the company that makes them. That company is GM.”

    What? Where does it say they “don’t like” GM? They have a new partner. They want to use the partner’s engines. End of story, or am I missing something here?

    • 0 avatar

      I never heard anyone claim VW not to have competitive engines …

      So assuming that all else is more or less equal, you can bet that in comparison to a continuing agreement with GM, Suzuki will have better access to the appropriate VW technology and will be able to get it at preferential rates.

      VW needs Suzuki to be able to make a competitive (and profitable) sub-Polo vehicle, as well as a decent entry into India. Suzuki needs access to technology that would demand unamortizable CapEx.

      For me it is as simple as that.

  • avatar

    I thought Suzuki had their own V6s, used in Grand Vitara (not the XL7s, I know those were GM). The fuel consumption was ho-hum, maybe those are just too obsolete for Kizashi.

  • avatar

    Maybe Suzuki should talk to Toyota and see what Toyota can do for them. Doesn’t Toyota supply a 180hp 1.8L engine for the Lotus Esprit? I have to wonder how much power Toyota could get from the 2.5L V6.

    Toyota has a reputation for building boring vehicles but the engines in them seem to be first-rate in terms of power vs displacement or fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar

      The 2ZZ-GE engine you’re referring to is supplied by Toyota, but was designed by Yamaha. I suspect any in-house Toyota engine (if there is such a thing) would be as bland as their current generation of vehicles…

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t know the engine was designed by Yamaha. I thought it was a Corolla engine modified and I presumed modified by Toyota.

      However, I’m also thinking of my personal experience, which is that Toyota engines are, for their size and application, generally pretty lively. We went to Toyota initially not because of reliability or any of the usual Toyota qualities (like, curing insomnia) but because the Sienna engine, at the time, far outclassed the Detroit offerings. I was also favorably impressed with the Camry 2.4L when I drove it last year.

      I do know that I’d run away screaming from a vehicle equipped with a VW engine. I liked the way my VW drove but it was a horrible ownership experience and a big part of that was engine trouble.

  • avatar

    Sounds to me like Suzuki wants to use their new partner for engines. If GM ends the business relationship by selling stock, it would make sense to give business to the company who bought your stock.

    So, where the assumption come that Suzuki doesn’t like GM?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    You could just as easily spin the story this way: “Ex-wife declines to have baby with husband who recently shacked up with the old German lady.”

  • avatar

    They were all Daewoo crap engines anyways. VW engines are far superior to anything GM can put out, especially in the NVH and smoothness departments.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, VW engines can’t even compare to GM engines. Except in diesel.

      GM puts more engines on Ward’s ten best engines list than ALL other manufacturers combined. In fact, GM hasn’t made an engine in the past 20 years that hasn’t been on Ward’s list.

      I don’t think Ford has ever had an engine make it on Ward’s ten best. (Maybe Ward’s 650 best).

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe GM owns Wards.

    • 0 avatar

      Aww, Z72Silvy – there’s this thing called Google, right? You type things in and find answers! This would have saved you from the embarassment of being completely wrong.

      Ford engines on Ward’s 10Best

      2009: Ford 2.5L Duratec Hybrid
      2008: Ford 4.6L 3v Modular V8
      2007: Ford 4.6L 3v Modular V8, 3.5L 24v Duratec V6
      2006: Ford 4.6L 3v Modular V8
      2005: Ford 4.6L 3v Modular V8
      2003: Ford 6.0L Powerstroke turbodiesel V8
      2002: Ford 5.4L SOHC Modular V8
      2001: Ford 5.4L SOHC Triton V8
      2000: Ford 5.4L SOHC Triton V8
      1998: Ford 5.4L SOHC Triton V8
      1997: Ford 5.4L SOHC Triton V8, Ford 4.6L DOHC 32v Modular V8 (SVT)
      1996: Ford 2.5L Duratec 2.5 V6, Ford 4.6L DOHC 32v Modular V8 (SVT)
      1995: Ford 2.5L Duratec 2.5 V6

      Not to mention the Ford Model T motor and Flathead V8 were both on the “20th Century’s Greatest” list from ward’s.

      Research! It’s your friend!

    • 0 avatar

      I have to disagree with you Garbage. VW’s engines aren’t better than GM’s. Besides, Opel did the Ecotec motors. GM’s current V6’s were done with Caddy and Holden. Daewoo has its mark on the very small motors, nothing that would work for Kizashi.

      Might be good to get all the facts first.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not your friend when it doesn’t fit your narrative…

    • 0 avatar

      @Z72_Silvy, “GM puts more engines on Ward’s ten best engines list than ALL other manufacturers combined.”

      As someone else said, research is your friend. Last five years (2005-2009):
      VW 8, BMW 6, GM 6, Ford 6, Nissan 4, Toyota 4, Honda 3.

      And last 10 years (2000-2009):
      BMW 14, VW 13, GM 10, Ford 10, Nissan 9, Honda 9, Toyota 7.

      So strictly using this list as the criterion (which really isn’t realistic anyway) VW’s engines look better than GM’s, contrary to your assertion. And Ford is doing just as well as GM is, on the Ward’s list.

  • avatar

    how about porting the 3.2L VR6 into the Kizashi? Or maybe just turbocharging that 2.4L motor? It’s not like the Kizashi REALLY needs a heavy V6 over the nose.

  • avatar

    Whew! Thank GOD!
    Smart Suzuki. They got away from that unreliable GM crap for … Wait; who?

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