Nissan Motor Co. on Dec. 11, 2007, discloses plans to produce a midsize pickup for Suzuki Motor Corp. in North America.
The Equator, Suzuki's first pickup, was based on the Nissan Frontier midsize pickup and built at Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant beginning in 2008. It was introduced at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show.
It became the latest in a long history of truck clones: The Mitsubishi Raider was essentially a Dodge Dakota. Mazda's B series sprung from the Ford Ranger. And the Isuzu i series was a refashioned Chevrolet Colorado.
The Equator went on sale in December 2008 as a 2009 model. Four- and six-cylinder engines were offered, as well as extended- and crew-cab bodies. U.S. sales peaked at 2,221 in 2009.
The Equator was the latest development stemming from a 2006 deal between Nissan and Suzuki to develop vehicles for each other. Nissan also supplied Suzuki with the Serena minivan in Japan.
American Suzuki Motor Corp., battered by plummeting U.S. sales even as the industry recovered from a recession, said in November 2012 it would discontinue U.S. sales of new light vehicles after nearly 30 years and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Equator sales were last recorded in 2013.