LOS ANGELES -- American Suzuki Motor Corp. will drop the Aerio sedan and wagon after it introduces a small crossover to the United States next summer.
Called the SX4, the five-door vehicle will be powered by a 2.0-liter double-overhead-camshaft engine making about 150 hp, says Suzuki spokesman Mike Anson. Front- or all-wheel drive and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission will be available.
The 2007 SX4 looks sportier than the Aerio wagon. It is 2 inches shorter but is wider, taller and has a longer wheelbase.
Suzuki wants to sell 200,000 vehicles in the United States by 2007, but the Aerio, introduced in 2002, is not helping. Sales of the Aerio sedan and wagon totaled 7,256 through the first 11 months of this year, down 18.3 percent from the year-ago period.
The SX4 will be built in Japan.
Anson says its base price will be about $13,000. The base price of the Aerio wagon is $15,079, including shipping.
The company projects annual U.S. sales of about 30,000 SX4 units, he says.
The company also will sell its first mid-sized SUV in the United States beginning next fall. That vehicle, which will be assembled in Canada, will replace the XL-7 small SUV.
Suzuki has introduced three new nameplates and one redesigned vehicle since the 2004 model year.
Through November, Suzuki sales in the
United States were 75,439, up 9.8 percent from the same period of 2004.