|October 23, 2001
General Motors Corporation
Isuzu Motors Limited
Suzuki Motor Corporation
Fuji Heavy Industries Limited
|GM, ISUZU, SUZUKI AND FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
JOINTLY UNVEIL CONCEPT VEHICLES
Four companies demonstrate the power of alliances
TOKYO, JAPAN - In a demonstration of the strength of the GM Alliance Partner Group, senior executives from General Motors, Isuzu Motors, Suzuki Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries came together today to discuss their alliances and unveil four new concept vehicles.
General Motors (GM) Chairman John F. Smith, Jr., Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) President Yoshinori Ida, Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) Chairman Osamu Suzuki and Fuji Heavy Industries Limited (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, Chairman Takeshi Tanaka discussed the strengths of their alliances.
"Our alliances are important partnerships that are a key part of each company's strategy for growth in the global automotive industry. They are giving each of our individual companies the Power of Four," said GM Chairman John F. Smith, Jr.
Smith said the benefit of the alliances is best illustrated in the Asia Pacific region, which continues to expand rapidly, despite the recent economic slowdown, Overall automotive industry growth in Asia Pacific is expected to be about 8.5 million units between now and 2010. This is greater than the expected combined growth in all the other regions of the world.
"Asia Pacific is a key to any global automaker's long-term success. The Power of Four has made GM, Isuzu, Suzuki and FHI the region's second largest automotive group, with 17 percent of the market," he said.
The alliances strategy focuses on the "Centers of Expertise" concept, in which two or more partners agree to focus on the market segments in which they excel. This allows the entire group to capitalize on the strengths of each partner for the benefit of all.
GM contributes strengths in research and development, technology, purchasing, distribution, vehicle platforms, and in e-commerce; Isuzu is the center of expertise for diesel engines; Suzuki is the center of expertise for small-cars and small displacement engines; and Fuji Heavy Industries is the center of expertise for all-wheel drive (AWD) technology and continuously variable transmissions (CVT).
During the joint press conference, each company showcased a unique concept vehicle.
Isuzu, who is currently engaged in a joint product development program with GM for next-generation small pickup truck models (with one-ton payload), will display a concept pickup truck.
Isuzu and GM are establishing a full-scale collaboration program, covering diverse areas such as engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and sales.
Both Isuzu and GM will continue to cooperate very closely in their engineering activities in order to supply the global pickup market with highly competitive, high quality pickup trucks.
Suzuki unveiled the "Covie," a compact electric vehicle (EV), developed by combining Suzuki's downsized EV unit with GM's "Home fuel Cell Generating System." This vehicle provides an environmental means of daily transportation for short distances and shows an innovative approach to compact car.
The Covie's navigation system links the driver with IT-equipped intelligent electric appliances, offices and homes.
FHI showcased a sophisticated redesign of its Subaru Traviq into an all-wheel drive (AWD) prototype. This was made possible by full application of FHI's advanced AWD technology. The FHI redesign is the latest example of its key role within the alliance as the GM group's center of expertise for AWD technology.
Also today, GM introduced the e-Cruze.
Designed to showcase GM's leadership in e-commerce and e-technology, the car displayed the latest vision of telematics and mobile commerce. Based on the Chevrolet Cruze the e-Cruze is a compact lifestyle concept vehicle that brings a host of Internet and communication services to the driver and passengers.
The vehicle was also designed to showcase the future e-business potential of the alliance network. Just last month, BuyPower Japan online shopping engine was launched by all four partners. BuyPower Japan allows consumers in Japan to get information on a range of products sold by all four partners in Japan.
Today's e-Cruze introduction continues the momentium established with the launch of Chevrolet Cruze by GM and Suzuki yesterday in Tokyo. The Cruze, developed specifically for the Asia Pacific market, is manufactured in Suzuki's Kosai facility and will go on sale in Japan in November.
The GM e-Cruze and Suzuki Covie vehicles will be on display at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show.
The alliance network has expanded its cooperation in other areas too during the past year.
In August, FHI began sales in Japan of a Subaru-badged, multi-passenger wagon-Traviq, which is based on the GM Zafira. The Subaru Traviq is manufactured in GM's facility in Rayong, Thailand.
GM AutoWorld facilities in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines are selling alliance partner products alongside GM brands.
In July last year, DMAX, an Isuzu, GM joint venture, began producing new diesel engines for Chevrolet/GMC full-size pickup trucks.
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