Not many cars appear and disappear while leaving as little trace as did the Suzuki Aerio, which was sold in the United States for the 2002-2007 model years. Normally, I ignore such new cars when I’m wandering around the wrecking yards of Denver, but I’ll break out the camera when I find something of historical significance— for example, an example of the final year of the GM J-body’s 24-year run— or when I see a car that doesn’t seem to exist on the street any more. This Aerio is such a car. (Read More…)
Tag: suzuki death watch
While the US won’t get the Suzuki SX4 any more, the flow of cars isn’t being cut off from Canada. Might we see this facelifted version of the SX4 (meant for the Chinese market) appear in the Great White North? The Canadian International Auto Show is only a couple weeks away, but we’ve got no indication about Suzuki debuting anything new at the show. Only time will tell.
Kizashi Beats Camry! No, it’s not a reprise of Dewey Beats Truman, but the Suzuki Kizashi landed a parting shot against mid-size kingpin the Toyota Camry, soundly beating it in the latest round of IIHS crash testing.
Suzuki’s booth at the Toronto Motorcycle Show had a nice surprise amidst all the GSX-Rs and big cruisers. A 2013 Grand Vitara, sporting a new facelift and a brown paint scheme.
Suzuki’s death rattle continues unabated as the company’s American distribution arm will receive $100 million in financing, half of which is earmarked to purchase inventory from parent company Suzuki Motor Corp.
Only 6 dealers haven’t taken a buyout offer from Suzuki – of the 219 Suzuki dealers in America, 213 took the offer from American Suzuki, including the top 50 dealers by volume.
Almost as soon as ASMC declared its intentions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Suzuki Canada, Inc. sent out the following statement:
“Suzuki’s customers can confidently continue to purchase new vehicles, obtain service, parts and accessories and take full advantage of Suzuki Canada’s warranty program,” said Bill Porter, Senior Vice President, Automobile Sales & Marketing, Suzuki Canada. “Suzuki Canada, including its Automotive Division, remains fully open for business in Canada, and will be honouring all customer commitments.”
“While Suzuki Canada will continue to monitor market conditions in light of the U.S. filing, we have no current plans to change Suzuki Canada’s operations as a result of the events in the U.S.,” Mr. Porter said. “Suzuki Canada remains proud of the upcoming 2013 model year for new automobiles, which will continue uninterrupted as planned”.
Being a Suzuki dealer is surely one of America’s least enviable jobs; franchise holders must choose whether to accept a cash settlement and a contract to provide parts and service in exchange for their franchises, or whether they want to fight the matter in court.
American Suzuki has received court approval to borrow $45 million to help restructure their dealer network following a Chapter 11 filing.
When the news came out last night of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, I was glad to be validated in my suspicions, but sad that a potentially great opportunity had been wasted due to mismanagement and short-sightedness on behalf of its Japanese management.
In other regions, Suzuki does an excellent job catering to the needs of each domestic market. In India, through their long time partnership with Maruti (which has since turned into full ownership of the once state-owned automaker), Suzuki enjoys double digit market share that is the envy of every other automaker in the country. Maruti Suzuki has control over product, they understand the needs of Indians looking for new cars, and they have enough financial input into SMC’s bottom line that the executives in Japan have no choice but to listen.
Late last night, we were contacted by an employee of American Suzuki Motors Corp, who reached out to TTAC to vent his frustrations regarding the downfall of ASMC’s auto business. The picture painted by this employee is one of a highly dysfunctional operation, focused only on tomorrow and never beyond that, a revolving door of Japanese management and deep antipathy for American workers.
Though we’ve confirmed the identity of this Suzuki employee, they wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of their remarks.
Months ago, we began our Suzuki Death Watch, and today, we hear the executioner’s song. Suzuki’s North American distribution arm filed for bankruptcy, and will end automotive sales in the United States. Slow sales, an unfavorable exchange rate and a limited lineup of vehicles can all be blamed for the demise of a company that was ignored all too often. Luckily, Suzuki’s motorcycle and powersports business remain intact. We’ll have more tomorrow.
The grim reaper may not be at American Suzuki’s door step after all. We’ve learned ASMC is healthier, at least financially, than we thought. But, in order to be profitable last year, ASMC had to completely cut almost every non-essential (and some essential) function of their business.