Suzuki Motor Corp. reportedly is selling its 50% stake in its Canadian joint-venture plant, CAMI Automotive Inc., to partner General Motors Co. for an undisclosed amount.

While the last Suzuki was built at the Ingersoll, ON, Canada, plant in May, an XL7 cross/utility vehicle, a Suzuki spokesman in Japan tells the Associated Press it was GM that approached Suzuki about selling its stake in the plant.

An American Suzuki Motor Corp. official told Ward’s as recently as August the auto maker was committed to maintaining its stake in CAMI, even if it was no longer building any model nor had plans to resume production there.

The official also noted GM’s production plans were robust enough to fill CAMI’s 250,000-unit annual capacity.

Indeed, the Detroit-based auto maker recently announced it will invest $85 million to retool CAMI’s West Body Shop and increase capacity by 40,000 units, among other upgrades. CAMI currently is building the new Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain midsize CUVs.

GM says sales of the two models were up 17% in November.

The 3-row Suzuki XL7 was based on the previous generation Equinox and debuted in 2006.

The auto maker had hoped to manufacture 60,000 units annually of the XL7 at CAMI, with 50,000 earmarked for the U.S., but demand failed to materialize.

CAMI stopped building the XL7 in volume in September 2008. This year, only four XL7s were built at CAMI. Suzuki announced it was discontinuing the CUV last spring.

Ward’s data shows Suzuki’s highest production volume at CAMI was achieved in 2007, when the JV built 31,403 XL7s.

CAMI, opened in 1989, also produced the Swift subcompact for Suzuki.

With the loss of CAMI production Suzuki’s sole North-American-sourced model for sale in the U.S. is the Equator compact pickup truck. The Equator is a version of Nissan’s Frontier and built for Suzuki by Nissan North America Inc. at its Smyrna, TN, plant.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com