CHONGQING — Suzuki Motor Corp. gets approval to build a second passenger car model at its joint venture with Chongqing Chang'an Automotive Co. Ltd.

The JV, Chongqing Chang'an Suzuki Automobile Co. Ltd., plans to build the 5-seat, 1.0L Lingyang model, based on the Suzuki Cultus/Esteem/Baleno platform. The model will be priced from RMB90,000 to RMB100,000 (US$10,900 to US$12,000).

Production of the Lingyang begins at the plant in September, and the venture plans to build 6,000 of the vehicles this year, ramping up to 25,000 vehicles in 2001. The plant will continue to build the 0.8L Alto model, 450,000 of which were produced there last year.

Suzuki is among the first foreign automakers, and the first Japanese maker, to gain approval to build a second model through a Chinese JV.