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Suzuki enjoys renaissance

Magyar Suzuki Rt will kick off manufacturing of its new Swift model on Friday, Feb. 4, according to Pál Négyesi, an analyst with Global Auto Systems Europe Kft. The last Wagon R+, a joint project of Suzuki and Opel, rolled off the production lines last Christmas, he added. The Japanese-owned car manufacturer is investing Ft 40 billion in its Hungarian plant in Esztergom, north of Budapest, as part of its Suzuki European Renaissance program, announced in 2003. The program encompasses the manufacturing of Suzuki Ignis and new Suzuki Swift models, as well as some joint projects with other automotive companies. These include the test manufacturing of an SUV developed by Suzuki and Fiat together, which is scheduled to start in December, in addition to the Ignis model, which will also be marketed under the brand name Subaru G3X under an agreement with Subaru, which does not have product in the small car category that would be competitive in the European market. In 2005, the company is planning to sell more than 250,000 of the new Swift model, which is also manufactured in Japan, India and China, in addition to Hungary.