Another one fights the rust

Chances are, if you have a local Suzuki dealer, he sells motorcycles and/or ATVs or maybe marine equipment. If he sells cars, well, he won’t be for very long: American Suzuki Motors is officially throwing in the towel. Yesterday’s announcement on the Web:

Today we announced that we will realign our business to focus on the long-term growth of our Motorcycles/ATV and Marine divisions. Following a thorough review of our current position and future opportunities in the U.S. automotive market, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to wind down and discontinue new automobile sales in the continental U.S. Consistent with our long history of standing by our products, ASMC automobile owners will be protected. All warranties will continue to be fully honored, in accordance with their terms, and automobile parts and service will be provided to consumers without interruption through ASMC’s parts and service dealer network.

From the press release [pdf]:

In evaluating its position in the highly regulated and competitive U.S. automotive industry, ASMC determined that its Automotive division was facing a number of serious challenges. These challenges include low sales volumes, a limited number of models in its line-up, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, the high costs associated with growing and maintaining an automotive distribution system in the continental U.S. and the disproportionally high and increasing costs associated with stringent state and federal regulatory requirements unique to the U.S. market.

The yen-dollar ratio was critical, since Suzuki had only one locally-sourced vehicle, the Equator pickup, basically a Nissan Frontier with a fresh set of badges.

Through October, Suzuki has sold only 21,188 cars and trucks this year, about half as many as Mitsubishi, which will likely be the next to go.

And a bit of irony, courtesy of Wikipedia’s article on the Suzuki Kizashi sedan:

Kizashi is a Japanese word which means “something great is coming”, “omen”, “sign”, or “warning”.

Not necessarily in that order, it would appear.







2 comments

  1. Jeffro »

    6 November 2012 · 8:30 pm

    They were not too big to fail.

  2. CGHill »

    6 November 2012 · 11:16 pm

    Apparently they’re staying in Canada for now. Then again, that’s where Studebaker ended up.

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