DETROIT – American Suzuki Motor Corp. unveils a concept tuner version of its new Reno 5-door crossover vehicle here at the North American International Auto Show.

The new ’05 Reno will be part of Suzuki’s effort to triple sales within five years, as the importer aims for 200,000 deliveries annually by 2007 under its “357” plan.

It’s the third all-new model Suzuki has launched in the U.S. in the last 12 months, after the Verona sedan and Forenza hatchback.

The base price is expected to be in the range of $13,000-$15,000 when it goes on sale later this year at U.S. Suzuki dealers, says Tom Carney, director of automotive marketing-American Suzuki.

Suzuki Reno Tuner Concept

The European-styled vehicle, like Suzuki’s Verona model, was created by Italdesign SpA of Italy, and will have a 2L 126-hp DOHC 16-valve engine and 4-wheel disc brakes standard, as well as Suzuki’s 7-year/100,000 mile (162,000 km) warranty.

Other standard features include air conditioning, power windows, power heated mirrors, power door locks and a 60/40 split rear seat.

To sell the model, Suzuki says it is invigorating its dealer ranks, adding 50 new dealers in the U.S. last year, for a total of 488, and is aiming for 600 Suzuki showrooms in the U.S. by 2005.

Koichi Suzuki, president of automotive operations-American Suzuki, says 300 Suzuki dealers in the U.S. have signed up since March to build “Suzuki Square”-style showrooms. He says the first will open this year in Augusta, GA, with the second and third Suzuki Square dealerships opening in Traverse City, MI, and Corpus Christi, TX, respectively.

The concept tuner Reno is an effort by the auto maker to show Generation Y customers how customizable the model is. The Reno concept shown here has a Chameleon Color Shift exterior/interior paint scheme, which features body-color paint on the center console, door trim and instrument panel bezels.

Various aftermarket-style add-ons include 17 in.7-spoke Chromium Black Primax Sport Max racing wheels, Yoshimura Custom Cat-back Exhaust System coupled with a K&N Typhoon Air Intake System, and Yokohama AVS ES100 performance tires.

cschweinsberg@primediabusiness.com