It was 1984. Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and the Scorpions were on the radio stations I listened to, while Prince, Wham, and some guy named Michael Jackson were on the stations I avoided. I was a young punk and I ran with a fast crowd. Whatever, I was into fast.
My grandma was a bit of a card shark. You name the game, she played it.
You would think that she would show a teeny bit of mercy to a six year old kid like me back in the day. Nope. Not a chance. Whenever she was about to beat me… yet again… grandma would flash an ear to ear grin on her face and bellow out her trademarked version of checkmate.
“Stevie? Do you want the old news? Or the bad news?”
I would flash my own waning innocence in these matters and say, “What about no news?”
No news, indeed. If you are looking to find yet another new name to take on pole position in our weekly mileage race, think again.
Despite our relentless Death Watch against Suzuki, the company decided to throw TTAC a bone by displaying a brown Grand Vitara at the Canadian International Auto Show.
This is actually one of two shades of brown available on the GV. While you can no longer get a rear-drive or stick shift configuration on the GV like in days past, it’s nice to know that someone is listening to some, if not all of our prayers.
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.
It’s time to make a confession to the good folks at TTAC.
The mileage game is rigged.
How so? Well, approximately two-thirds of the vehicles that reach the 300k+ mark at an auction I attend will usually belong in one of four categories.
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”.
All 12 North American employees have been officially notified that their jobs are saved.
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.