Suzuki Launches New Solio Small Wagon in Japan, will Also be Available by Mitsubishi

Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. on Friday unveiled its new domestic market Solio, a tall mini wagon that will go on sale in the country in early January. The Solio measures 3,710mm in length and will be available exclusively with a 1.2-liter gasoline engine producing 91HP, linked to a CVT and either front- or optionally, four-wheel drive. The Japanese automaker said it targets domestic yearly sales of around 12,000 units.

Soon after the Solio's press reveal, Suzuki and Mitsubishi released a joint statement announcing that the two firms have mutually agreed on the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supply of the vehicle to Mitsubishi. Under the agreement, Suzuki will offer 800 Solios to Mitsubishi per month beginning from spring 2011.

"The OEM supply is expected to generate new customers for MMC, as it will make possible response to a wide variety of customer needs by adding a new genre to MMC's existing lineup – a compact height wagon," said Mitsubishi in the statement.

With this deal, Suzuki said it "aims to improve its productivity and lower production and development costs through further increasing economies of scale."

The deal comes only a few weeks after Mitsubishi and Nissan announced a similar but far more comprehensive OEM partnership.