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Suzuki Builds a Truck! Or, rather, Nissan builds a truck and Suzuki badges it

Rafay Ansar



Suzuki is entering the pickup arena with a rebadged Nissan Frontier and perhaps the most modest sales goals in the history of trucks--it plans to sell only a few thousand a year.

“A few to several thousand,” said Gene Brown, marketing vice president.

So why do it at all?

“We have 2 million motorcycle, ATV and boat owners with Suzuki outboards,” Brown said. “And those are just the ones in our database.”

So of that group of potential buyers, why not offer them a Suzuki truck to haul around their Suzuki toys?

Plus, dealers will love the broadening of the product offering, the company said. Suzuki claims that even at these modest sales numbers, both Nissan and Suzuki are making money off the venture.

To distinguish its truck from the Nissan, Suzuki makes its own hood, front fenders, three-bar grille and tailgate. So it’s more than just badges. Content and configuration will also be Suzuki-specific.

The Equator will come in both extended and crew cab configurations with both two- and four-wheel drive. The extended cab will come with I4 and V6 engines, while the crew cab gets only the V6. The 2.5-liter four has 152 hp and 171 lb-ft, while the 4.0-liter V6 produces 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, enough to give it a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds--which is a lot of Suzuki gear.

A five-speed automatic is available with both engines while the five-speed manual comes only with the I4. The highest-zoot model is the flashy RMZ-4 Sport Package.

Prices will be announced closer to the truck’s launch in late November or early December. Visit www.suzukiequator.com.
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