AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Automotive Industry Creates Some Odd Bedfellows
Sometimes automakers have holes in their line-up bigger than Van Halen did in 1985. Due to a lack of time, resources or manufacturing facilities, the company looks for a quick fix. The solution? Grab a vehicle from another company that fills the void and rebrand it as their own. But like Wade Boggs in a New York Yankees uniform, these rebadged vehicles never look quite right. And, like any decision made by cobbling together bits and pieces from here and there, it doesn’t always work.
In the world of rebadging, Australian General Motors division Holden is king. The company will rebadge anything and everything for the Australian market. Since Holden could have a top ten list entirely their own, we’ll skip them. Instead, let’s focus on vehicles most in North America will recognise in either current or rebadged form. We are not talking platform engineered cars within a company or ones co-developed between two companies, but rather vehicle rebrand jobs that seem to come out of left field and are thinly disguised.
10. Volvo C30 - 2,827 Units Sold
After checking out the top 10 best selling vehicles of last year, it’s now time to take a look at the worst performers on dealerships lots.
It isn’t a huge surprise to see the Volvo C30 on the list at 10th place, considering the Swedish automaker decided to give the vehicle the axe at the end of 2012. The Volvo C30 was on the market for six years in North America and sold only 26,000 units.
With Nissan having issued a recall for select Frontier pickups, it was probably only a matter of time before Suzuki followed with its version of the F-Alpha mid-size truck. In the case of the latter manufacturer, the recall centers on a total of 582 Equators, manufactured between November 30, 2009 and March 3 this year (2010 model year trucks). Like the Frontier, the problem stems around potentially weak welds on the lower front ball joint collars that could come apart, affecting vehicle handling and alignment.
Suzuki dealers will inspect the lower control links on trucks issued with the Technical Service Bulletin recall and replace them free of charge if they’re found to be defective. Equator owners affected by the recall have been asked to contact Suzuki at 800-934-0934 or NHTSA’s hot line at 888-327-4236 for more details.
A real pickup for as little as $17,995
A joint project with Nissan, the 2009 Suzuki Equator pickup truck will be built in Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. Facility. Suzuki will offer plenty of variants including Extended Cab and Crew Cab body styles, Long Bed and Short Bed variants, four- and six-cylinder engines, and two- and four-wheel drive options.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 152hp and 171 ft-lbs of torque, whereas the more capable 4.0-liter V-6 powerplant produces 261hp and 281 ft-lbs of torque. Four-cylinder models will be available with a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic will be optional on the 4-cylinder and standards on V-6 models.
2WD V6 Extended Cab models will boast a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs.
An optional shift-on-the-fly 4WD system is an option with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case. The Equator comes equipped with traction control, an electronic locking rear diff, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control.
Pricing for four-cylinder models starts at as low as $17,995 with the Crew Cab Base model with 2WD starting at $23,985. The Crew Cab Sport, which includes aluminum alloy wheels, cruise control and power windows and door locks, starts at $25,150 for 2WD and $28,095 for 4WD models. Finally, the Crew Cab RMZ-4 carries a starting MSRP of $29,325.
Official release after the jump: