Suzuki expects a strong boost in Germany for its Euro ambitions

Bensheim, Germany. Suzuki is looking to increase European sales to 320,000 units by 2006, up from 208,000 last year.

The Japanese automaker expects a strong recovery in Germany where it wants to double sales to 50,000 in this period, recovering from a low point last year of 24,500 sales.

Peter. A. Verloop, Suzuki International Europe spokesman, said that the company is looking to increase German sales to 27,500 units this year and 40,000 units next year.

The optimistic forecast is based on a model and marketing offensive plus an expansion of the dealer network.

Sales and marketing director Satoshi Shimizu said: "We plan to have 550 locations in Germany by spring 2005." Currently the Japanese importer has around 360 sales outlets.

Since September 2003 Suzuki has parted company with 76 dealers. The importer, which is based in Bensheim, now wants to fill approximately 200 open spaces within its dealer network.

Some of them are in cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Nuremberg. Shimizu said: "In some of those city areas we are having problems finding the right partners. We are therefore considering giving dealers special support to compensate for any location disadvantages, such as high rents."

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