Nissan, Suzuki to expand cooperation

Nissan and Suzuki have a partnership in which Suzuki provides minicars, to be sold under the Nissan brand.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 13:24 IST

Japanese automakers Nissan and Suzuki are expanding their business cooperation, and the companies will hold a news conference later in the day to outline details, Nissan said on Thursday.

Nissan Motor Co and Suzuki Motor Corp have a partnership in which Suzuki provides Nissan minicars, mainly for the Japanese market, to be sold under the Nissan brand.

Nissan does not make its own minivehices, which have engines of up to 0.66 liters, get tax breaks in Japan. Minicar sales have been booming lately in Japan while the overall auto market here has remained flat.

Earlier this week, Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said the company was considering increasing it lineup of tiny cars in response to the recent plunge in the automaker's sales in Japan, which he said was worse than expected.

Nissan's sales in Japan, when excluding mini-cars, in April totaled 34,679 vehicles, down 27 per cent on-year. Including mini-vehicles, Nissan's sales in Japan fell 18.5 per cent.

Shiga said Nissan was not considering making its own mini-cars because the deal with Suzuki was proving lucrative, but adding more mini-car models to Nissan's lineup was an option.

Nissan, Japan's second biggest automaker, faces formidable competition at home and abroad from Toyota Motor Corp, No 1 in Japan and No 2 in the world, and Honda Motor Co.

"We face various challenges in making the Japanese market a source for our profits as a global manufacturer," he said then at the company's Tokyo headquarters.

First Published: Jun 02, 2006 13:24 IST