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forumThe automobile industry is starting to look
like the Cold War. Alliances and pacts form out of convenience, necessity or
panic between manufacturers resulting in blocs within which one dominant
industrial state pursues its self interest through clients who strive to appear
to be acting independently. Not a brisk analogy, but certainly, an overpriced
one. (Have you seen the tuition bill at day care these days?)
Japan’s Suzuki falls under the General Motors sphere of influence and so does the remnants of Korea’s Daewoo (GM has an ownership stake in both). And with trade between them almost a requirement of their co-prosperity under GM hegemony, it was almost inevitable that Suzuki would adopt some Daewoo vehicles as its own.
To put it in a 1970’s Warsaw Pact context, Suzuki’s deal to sell the Daewoo-built and Daewoo-engineered mid-size Verona and compact Forenza is the equivalent of a Hungarian baking cooperative buying Bulgarian wheat to make their bread. It’s not the best wheat, but that’s not important. What is important is that it be bought.
It may be bland Hungarian-baked Bulgarian wheat bread, but at least the Verona is nourishing.
A lot of car, not a lot of money or a lot of power
The Verona’s glamour feature is its transverse-mounted straight six engine driving the front wheels. With V-6 orthodoxy having swept through most manufacturers, the idea of this $16,500 car being blessed with the inherent smoothness and silken torque curve of six in-line cylinders (just like a BMW!) is undeniably attractive.
2004 Suzuki VeronaEnlarge Photo