Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Cars Result From Nissan and Suzuki Cooperation

TOKYO — Japan's auto market saw the debuts of two new models this week: the Suzuki Landy minivan and the Nissan Pino minicar.

Suzuki LandyNissan PinoThe twist: Suzuki makes the Pino, and Nissan makes the Landy.

This is the visible fruit of ongoing cooperation between Nissan and Suzuki that has included sharing capacity at plants and joint new-model development. Suzuki, which is the leading minicar producer in Japan, has been supplying a rebranded version of its MR Wagon to Nissan for many years, but this is the highest-profile cooperative venture to date.

The Nissan Pino is actually a rebadged — but otherwise identical — version of Suzuki's current Alto. Of the three minicars Nissan is now selling in Japan, two — including the Pino — are sourced from Suzuki and the third is from Mitsubishi.

Taking the inter-corporate cooperation idea a step further, Nissan has hooked up with Sony on a Web site where Pino owners can shop for accessories and gadgets.

In turn, Nissan supplies its Serena van to Suzuki to sell as the Landy. With its eight-seater interior and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Landy is bigger than any previous minivan from the small-vehicle-oriented Suzuki. In fact, the company uses the Landy name in China for a much smaller van.

© Source: article on insideline

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