Suzuki Has No Plans for a Vue-based SUV

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There has been a lot of discussion at SaturnFans.com lately about the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox � Chevy's polymer-clad version of the Saturn Vue. A few weeks ago, GM said that the Equinox would be built at its Ingersoll, Ontario manufacturing plant that it operates as a joint venture with Suzuki. Today the facility builds the Chevy Tracker and Suzuki Vitara compact sport-utility vehicles. At the time of the announcement, it was not known if the plant would also build a third variation of the Vue for Suzuki.

Saturn fans can breathe easy now; Suzuki reportedly will not get a version of the Vue.

The Chicago Tribune shed some light on the subject in an article printed in today's paper. While the GM-Suzuki joint venture will continue, the plant will build separate vehicles for each company. The plant will not build two similar variations of the same vehicle. According to the Tribune: "Equinox will be unique to Chevy, which was taken to mean Suzuki won't get a version. Suzuki says it plans to build a unique vehicle at the plant as well, which was taken to mean Chevy won't get a version."

Suzuki has said it plans to continue to build the Vitara at the plant through 2003. Even though Chevrolet has not officially set any firm end of production (EOP) dates, Tracker will also likely reach EOP sometime in 2003. This will give both companies time to retool the factory for their individual new products.

Chevrolet is expected to launch the Equinox in 2004, as a 2005 model. Suzuki has not said what vehicle it plans to build in place of the Vitara.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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