1992 Asuna Parts
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A Passport to the World?
In the late 1980s, General Motors started exploring a new strategy in the captive import market. A captive import is an imported car that a domestic car maker makes-over cosmetically and sells as its own brand. This is an example of what’s sometimes derisively called "badge engineering." In theory, captive import arrangements help both car companies. The domestic company can fill holes in its line up without high development costs, and the import brand gets to sell its cars to a new market through an established dealer network. In practice, though, captive imports don’t always sell. Often buyers who want the kind of cars that foreign makes excel at don’t shop at domestic dealers and die-hard domestic fans might feel dubious about a car built overseas.
Asüna was one of several attempts GM made to enter the captive import market in Canada. Before introducing Asuna, GM was selling imported Isuzus and Suzukis as Geos. GM also tried to open dedicated captive import dealerships called Passport dealerships. Passport dealerships sold Isuzus, Suzukis, and Saabs, as well as the Daewoo LeMans rebadged as the Passport Optima. The Passport Optima only lasted from 1988 to 1991.
Try, Try Again
After the Passport, GM made another attempt at a dedicated captive import brand in Canada. It created the Asüna marque. Starting in 1992, Asuna sold three models: the Sunfire, a rebadged Isuzu Piazza; the Sunrunner, based on the Suzuki Samurai; and the SE sedan and GT hatchback, both based on our old friend, the Daewoo LeMans.
The Sunfire was a front-wheel drive hatchback with a small four-cylinder engine, a 1.6-liter with or without turbo, or a 1.8L. The Sunrunner was essentially the same as its Samurai counterpart, although it came standard with the features that Suzuki reserved for the higher trims, like air conditioning, chrome wheels, and a rear windshield wiper. The SE and GT were a sedan and a wagon respectively, both with front-wheel drive and engines ranging from 1.5 to 2.0-liters.
The End of the Experiment
In addition to facing the problems all captive imports face, Asuna had to compete with cars identical to its own. GM was selling the Isuzu Impulse and Geo Storm, on the same platform as the Sunfire, the Samurai and the Geo Tracker on the same platform as the Sunrunner, and the Pontiac LeMans on the same platform as the SE and GT. Without an established brand name and competing against identical cars, Asüna was never able to post great sales results. GM folded Asüna in 1994. Pontiac took up the Sunfire and Sunrunner names, and continued to sell the LeMans.
Need Asuna Parts?
While Asuna’s time was short lived, the love you have for your Asuna is as strong as anyone’s love for their vehicle. So, if you are in need of a replacement part for your Asuna automobile, you've come to the right place. At 1A Auto, we get you the right auto parts for your Asuna, at a great discount. You'll find a selection of new, high quality aftermarket Asuna auto parts, including brake pads, fuel filters, gas caps, serpentine belts and more.
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