Suzuki will remain in a joint venture with General Motors even though it has indefintely halted output at the Canadian (CAMi) plant this year, a senior executive said.

GM has recently decided to withdraw from an assembly JV with Toyota in California, putting the plant’s future on the line.

“The market has been terrible,” Gene Brown, American Suzuki’s vice president of marketing and public relations, told news agency AFP.

“But that doesn’t mean we’re going to withdraw from the venture.”

Brown could not say when Suzuki might resume production at Canadian Automotive Manufacturing, the company’s only assembly plant in North America.

The Ingersoll, Ontario plant builds GM’s Chevrolet Equinox SUV and had been building the XL7 SUV and two car models before production was stopped after sales collapsed last autumn.

Suzuki’s first half US sales were off 60.2% to 22,408 units, according to AFP said North American sales were down 40% this year.

The automaker has just launched a new 2.4-litre mid-sized car in the US, its first in-house effort. It has previously rebadged similarly sized GM-Daewoo-built models for North America.