Ask The Best And Brightest: Hope For Suzuki Or Mitsubishi?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bloomberg has a piece that is chock full of analysts imploring Mitsu and Suzy to pack it up and leave the American market. Both firms rage, rage against the dying of the light, but the numbers are not pretty. Mitsubishi sales are down over 50 percent in the first half-year, continuing a slump that has gone uninterrupted since 2003. Suzuki is down a whopping 6o percent in the first half of 2009, and neither firm seems to have the products to turn the bad news around. Rumors of Suzuki’s Swift coming stateside, the Kizashi and an FWD version of the SX4 hatchback don’t seem to be the “consistent, sustained effort” that analysts say Suzuki needs. Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko says “we will never give up the U.S. market,” but there’s little indication of what’s coming down the pipe, besides a $40k EV. Should these two stay and fight? Merge? Leave? What say you?

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • BritInUS BritInUS on Jul 16, 2009

    I owned an 07 Outlander XLS for 18 months and I can honestly say it was a good car. The seating was supportive, The ride firm and the 3.0 ltr V6 lively. My main complaints were the 3rd row of seats and the drive door panels that were very plastic. Some of the interior fit & finish could of been improved (2 shades of silver painted plastics next to each other) but the fact remains that this was a fun car to drive which is more than can be said of the Rav 4 or CRV. I now drive an 03 Honda Pilot. Very reliable but it bores me close to death each time i drive it. I miss my Outlander :-( The problem with Mitsubishi is that in the US the only good vehicles they have are the Oulander & Lancer. As others suggest adding the L200 (with diesel) & the Colt to the range and then work to replace the Galant with something people want. Both Mazda & Subaru compete with the Toyota's & Honda's by creating cars that are reliable AND fun to drive - based on the Outlander lancer twins Mitsu could do the same

  • Stu Sidoti Stu Sidoti on Jul 16, 2009

    Mitsubishi? They're toast unless they get back their 80's and 90's innovative roots...they used to be a very inventive car company...not so much anymore. Suzuki? Give to me and I'll turn it around...but it would take awhile and some cash. I have never ever understood why Suzuki cars doesn't lean on Suzuki bike's reputation and build sporty cars like they build sport bikes...and why only econo-class cars? Why not something more upmarket? Again, calling upon the bike side's reputation I would start by pulling out of the U.S. market and stay away for a few years. Over the next few years, I would try and build a no-excuses sports car...something with Corvette levels of performance for around $40,000. Then I would build a true small 2-seat roadster (think Honda Beat/Miata/MR2 Spyder) for around $25,000....Then I would build a Lancer Evo/Subie WRX competitive sedan and like the EVO/WRX, you can buy it as a base model FWD sedan for $18K, and all the way up to a 300HP AWD $40,000 super-rally car...I think Suzuki should study their bike reputation, understand what makes that very successful for them, look at Lotus and Porsche's line of vehicles(minus Cayenne) and move in THAT direction and stop trying to be an econo-car builder. You've got a great rep...use it.

  • Weneversleep Weneversleep on Jul 16, 2009

    Yes, it's really a shame about Mitsu. Problem is, the Evo, especially the Evo X, especially the Evo X MR, is just _so damn good_. I absolutely love mine.

  • Opinionated Opinionated on Jul 16, 2009

    I'm a little sentimental about Suzuki. A feisty and persistent presence in the American market that has always produced simple reliable vehicles that suffered only in comparison to Honda and Toyota. They seem to be strong in segments that will grow larger as gas prices inevitably rise. Here in Colorado they are the hands down used car choice for cheap efficient and reliable 4wd use. If they keep it simple and cheap they could survive and I want them to. Mitsubishi on the other hand has always struck me as more corporate and less soulful. Though I loved my 91 Turbo Colt it only went 95K before the Turbo quit and even at the age of 9 was starting to suffer from lack of dealer parts support. Their new product has never really spun my prop. Not particularly attractive or innovative. I wouldn't really miss them at all.