Britain’s economic meltdown has put a brake on Suzuki GB plans to win a share of the company car market.
The Japanese firm has postponed plans to launch the Kizashi, its first D-
segment saloon model, in the corporate sector.
Due to be unveiled at the New York motor show next month, the car was set to go into UK showrooms at the end of this year or during the first quarter of 2010.
It is now unlikely to be imported for at least two more years.
“We have taken account of the economic situation and reached the conclusion that corporate business is getting more costly and increasingly difficult,” said dealer development general manager Dale Wyatt.
“The D-segment is shrinking and right now, getting established in the fleet market and changing the focus of a largely retail
dealer network represents a lot of effort for potentially little return.
“I think the present climate makes it unwise for
us to try to enter a segment that is new to us and also particularly aggressive,” Wyatt added.
He said the fact that V6 petrol engines would only be available on initial versions of the Kizashi – it means prelude in Japanese - also had a bearing on the decision to defer.
“Diesel is a key requirement in this sector and I’d rather we wait for the two-litre diesel option. That will also give us time to see how the car is accepted in other markets.
“When it does arrive, I think it has the potential to add around 5,000 units to our annual volume,” said Wyatt.