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Suzuki Jimny could spawn mini pick-up

Cute ute: The Suzuki Jimny Sierra Pickup Style concept (below) that debuted at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon could form the basis for a production mini ute, while the rugged, off-road focused Survive (left) was also shown at the same event.

Tokyo Auto Salon concept used to gauge interest in Suzuki Jimny ute

1 Feb 2019

STRONG interest in new Jimny body styles could prompt Suzuki to offer variants such as a pick-up and soft top version in future, but plans are currently firmly still in the research and development stage.
Though Suzuki Australia general manager of automobiles Michael Pachota said these and other show cars such as the Jimny Sierra Pickup Style concept that stole the Tokyo Auto Salon in early January remain toe-in-the-water exercises to gauge public reaction, he would completely support them should they ever make production.
“There have been plenty of renders online where people have been stretching it out and making it a five-door wagon, or putting ute backs in it or soft tops on it,” Mr Pachota told GoAuto at the launch of the new-generation Jimny in Melbourne last week.
“I can strongly say that demand from the public globally is out there and they would love to see it. (But) with respect to Suzuki in Japan, they haven’t made any confirmations of building anything outside of anything we’re currently seeing today.”
Mr Pachota did hint at Suzuki Motor Corporation’s (SMC) intentions however, revealing that there is robust discussion underway between Japan HQ and the heads of most major markets that would be interested in such Jimny offshoots. 
“There have been questions asked, like ‘have people asked about that? What would you think of it in your country? How successful could it be?’,” he said. “So, I wouldn’t take it off the agenda in terms of speculations, because knowing Suzuki, they always want to build cars for the people if the people want it, because cars are their passion.
“At the end of the day, in my opinion, I think they will go down the track of looking at introducing other versions of what the Jimny has to offer. We just saw at the Tokyo Auto Salon SMC deliver two concept cars – one with a ute back and another based on their Kei car called ‘Survive Concept’, which showed some elements in both models of opportunities to grow that particular product.
“If it starts with ‘Jimny’ I’ll take anything. The amount of enquiry we’ve received on this car, it literally broke the internet when the first images were released – SMC’s global site stopped. It was hard to get on to. 
“Our enquires have gone through the roof, which unfortunately dealers are struggling with a little bit.”
Though displayed by Suzuki, the Jimny Sierra Pickup Concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon was put together by an outside party, and featured retro touches to the grille, faux-wooden paintwork, wheels, lighting and stance. 
The same more or less also applies to the Survive Concept, though the latter is aimed at a different, more hardcore 4x4 audience. 

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