Share on Facebook
by Jay Traugott
It's not easy being a small automaker in the US, and Suzuki has had enough of trying. So while its motorbikes, ATVs and watercraft are staying, say goodbye to the Kizashi, SX4, Grand Vitara and Equator.
It should come as little surprise that Suzuki's US operations have been in trouble for some time now. Dwindling sales due to lackluster products have taken their toll on the small Japanese automaker's success in North America, leaving the US division to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. So what does this mean exactly, and how are current owners affected? American Suzuki Motor Corporation is finished and will end all sales of cars and trucks once current supplies are sold off dealership lots.
However, Suzuki's popular line up of motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft will not be affected by the bankruptcy, and the company claims that it "remains firmly committed" to these products. All warranties for current Suzuki car owners will be honored through parts and service dealers. The bankruptcy decision comes after a thorough internal review of Suzuki's current market position as well as future sales projections. Evidently the numbers simply didn't add up. But to be clear, this is not the end for Suzuki cars and trucks in other countries. The automaker still enjoys solid sales and popularity in Asia and other markets.
If anyone recalls, there used to be an alliance agreement between General Motors and Suzuki which saw the rebadging of several models from each side, but when GM went into an organized bankruptcy itself, Suzuki was cut loose. It then found a new partner in Volkswagen, who was clearly more interested in Suzuki's Asian operations than anything else. Suzuki realized this after less than two years and backed out of the agreement. In an increasingly conglomorating industry, the lack of a large corporate partner unfortunately deprives Suzuki of the funds it would need to compete in a market as competitive as the US.