By on August 27, 2012

More bad news for Suzuki fans; the marque won’t have any new product for the Untied States until at least 2015.

An Automotive News report on Mitsubishi and Suzuki’s future product plans paints a bleak picture for the two brands. While Mitsubishi at least has a new Outlander (as well as a plug-in version of that car), AN’s Ryan Beene reports that

“…sources familiar with American Suzuki’s plans say that after this fall the company has no new or redesigned product launches scheduled before the 2015 model year…”

Beene cites a strong yen and the bungled Volkswagen partnership for Suzuki’s product drought. Suzuki apparently investigated the prospect of selling the Wagon R minicar in the U.S, but that project has been dormant for some time. The SX4, Kizashi and Grand Vitara will soldier on with minor changes at best. The highly praised Swift compact car will ostensibly not be sold here any time soon, for reasons that nobody can fathom.

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30 Comments on “Suzuki Death Watch 6: The Product Drought Continues Ubabated...”


  • avatar
    BrianL

    Well, maybe they could get rid of the douche bag frat boy on their Kazashi commercials. I think that would be nice.

    • 0 avatar

      You’ve seen a Kizashi commercial on TV? I call BS. ;-)

      That being said, I’d rock a Wagon R, not that I will be able to. Oh well. From that snippet of info, it sound like Suzuki doesn’t have plants to pull out of the U.S., but will be content with selling 20,000 cars a year and continuing as is.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        What is funny, is those commercials are well after the release of the car, and all I learn about them, besides being annoying is that it has available AWD. Not exactly a top selling point for me in Texas.

      • 0 avatar

        Wagon R is a kei car. If you saw a Mitsu MiEV in the street, you can ascertain the proportions. Above all it’s narrow. The same MiEV is a living proof that an adaptation of a kei car to U.S. regulations is quite possible. However, given that it’s Mitsubishi that done it, we cannot be sure that such adaptation is a smart undertaking.

        Swift really is a mystery though.

  • avatar
    Lynchenstein

    The Swift up there looks not too bad. Not nearly as dorky as the current Nissan low-end models. It’s a Japanese Mini. I’d take one for a test drive. Now, just imagine one with a Hayabusa motor…

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    I have driven the Swift and it is just as swift as it looks.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      About as swift as a Scion xA then?

      • 0 avatar
        Polar Bear

        I have not driven the Scion xA, but it is basically the Toyota Yaris? I would buy the Swift. The Swift is charming and fun to drive in a way a Toyota product rarely is.

        Recently I have even seen Suzuki (and Honda) beating Mr. Toyoda in the car reliability rankings.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      I had a great time with a Swift as a Ring rental. Really a fun car and they apparently held up well to abuse on the Nordschleif. Glad I’m not the only one perplexed by the lack of availability in NA.

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    They race them in New Zealand (proabably elsewhere too) and that, believe me, is a fun series. Very much like when they used to race the hatchback civics in North America.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    The Untied States? Is that a Freudian slip, or merely a typo?

    I hope they do something different in Canada. I think the Swift would sell well here.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      Cut him a brake. It’s Monday mourning!

    • 0 avatar
      Jamez9k

      I’m thinking that maybe these struggling manufacturers should focus on the Canadian market a little more instead of trying to penetrate the US market outright. I know the market here is insignificant compared to it but a lot of models from these manufacturers would (and do) do very well here and maybe, just maybe, gaining some kind of reputation here first could allow them to eventually develop a genuine desire for their products south of the border.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    It sounds like they’re in something of a catch-22. The American market is too potentially lucrative for them to leave, but they can’t justify investing too much money in new product due to low sales, and their sales are low primarily because they won’t invest in new product. There’s a couple of hard decisions that need to be made their eventually, and I don’t envy the guy that’s going to have to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The reality of the new car market is that what is new is hot. Unless they carve out a niche with their product to keep sales steady year over year, share will drop.

      I can’t recall the last late model Suzuki I saw on the road. Nor would I know off hand where to buy one if I wanted one.

      Slow and steady is their only hope, but without new product that can’t happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Botswana

        Oddly, I’ve seen a couple of Kazashis recently. This after so many Suzuki dealerships went under.

        Unfortunately, what I mostly see on the road are Forenzas. I think that car really hurt their brand. Funny thing is, when I bought my Forenza everyone was impressed I bought a Suzuki (I wish it had actually been a Suzuki!) As a brand they are actually thought of pretty highly, but how long until no one remembers who they are?

        I kind of wish they would fish or cut bait.

      • 0 avatar

        Forenzas, hah. We’ve got a few Aveos in town! And all of them are white for some reason.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Ask RIM how a year without new product is working out for them…

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Yup. And if I recall, Suzuki had a pretty good thing going with the original Swift/Geo Metro/Pontiac Firefly back in the late 80s and into the 90s. (how do I remember this stuff?)

      Just like RIM, they let it slide…into near oblivion.

      If they were to cross-market with their awesome sportbikes and dirtbikes however, they may be able to lure in the younger crowd.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    No new product in the US until at least 2015?

    That means they won’t have any new product in the US, period, because Suzuki America won’t last that long.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    My states are tied, thank you very much.

    On a serious note, this is very troubling for Suzuki. Their products are actually pretty competitive right now (Consumer Reports rates the Kizashi above the Accord, and not far behind the Camry and Fusion) but everyone else is getting ready to churn out new/redesigned products. If Suzuki can’t still compete with these new models, they’re going to be in a lot of trouble. They don’t have the sheer bulk or presence to survive until a redesign arrives like Chrysler’s been doing so far.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I don’t think what’s left of their dealer body in the US can last another two years without a new model.

    Back in the 90’ies, Suzuki could get away with selling two or three imported models – but twenty years later, the US market is dominated by transplants like Nissan and Hyundai. Suzuki isn’t big enough to go it alone with as a transplant.

    The current Swift should have been Federalized years ago to compete with the Mini.

    Although, most compact CUV’s buyers prefer family grocery getters that will never be driven on unpaved back roads.- my favorite from their current models would be a Jimny, two door hard top. I doubt if they’d sell many. Also, Consumer Reports would have a field day.

  • avatar
    MusicMachine

    I still think if Suzuki had the GM dealerships…they’d be doing better.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    I don’t understand the Swift situation at all. If they’re not going to bring their best product then what’s the point of having a presence in North America at all. It’s not like the Swift is a kei car or city car that can only be sold in certain markets. There is a market for B-class cars in North America. It’s not a really big market, but even a small piece of that pie would make the Swift their best seller.

  • avatar
    danup

    I can understand Suzuki just not having new product, since so few of their bread-and-butter Japanese cars make sense here. (I can guarantee they’d sell a Wagon R to my girlfriend, but I guess they can’t make their decisions based on what people who’ve just finished working in Japan for three years are doing…) Weird they keep avoiding the Swift, though, and I think the Splash could probably find a niche, too.

    But I absolutely don’t get how long Mitsubishi’s letting the Lancer get stale. That car wasn’t competitive—attractive, then and now, but not competitive—in 2007, let alone 2015. It seems like they’ll have to bring the Mirage over, lest they turn into Isuzu and fade away selling a couple of reasonably popular crossovers and nothing else.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    there’s a minor problem with that Swift

    it’s not a lot better than the old Swift and in some cases its worse

    be that as it may, its still a product out there that can generate sales… it’s capable of a US audience

    it is certainly no worse than their competitors

    i would ask if these sub C-segment cars suit Americans?

  • avatar
    econobiker

    Suzuki- I see your hand of 2012 Equator pickup trucks and raise you two (now discontinued) Mitsubishi Raiders (nee Dodge Dakota)and one Endeavor (nee Jeep Grand Cherokee).


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