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Suzuki Sales Surge as Maker Prepares to Leave US

But no reprieve planned.

by on Dec.24, 2012

Suddenly, buyers galore for the Suzuki Kizashi.

As folk singer Joni Mitchell might have put it: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?”

With American Suzuki Motor Corp. preparing to close its automotive operations in the coming year sales have suddenly surged in ways that the Japanese company could have only dreamed of in recent years.  In fact, the maker has had to increase imports from Japan to meet surging demand – a move that required approval from a U.S. bankruptcy judge.

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Sales in November surged 22%, to 2,224 vehicles and, according to the maker, demand is strong this month, as well.  Of course, an expanded, 7-year warranty and a big increase in incentives meant to clear out dealer lots has certainly helped.


So Long, Suzuki

Japanese maker abandoning US market.

by on Nov.06, 2012

The failure of the Kizashi sedan seemed to seal American Suzuki's fate.

In the face of steadily falling sales, American Suzuki Motor Corporation of Brea, Calif. is going to stop selling cars in the United States.

The American subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Co. has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as a prelude to withdrawing from the U.S. automobile market. Suzuki’s withdrawal continues the reduction in the number of brands sold in the U.S. that began in 2009 when Isuzu left. Saab collapsed last year and now Suzuki joins the list.

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By winding down its U.S. automobile marketing business, Suzuki plans to concentrate on its motorcycle, ATV and marine products businesses. As a result, SMC’s distribution of its automobiles in the continental United States will be discontinued. The company sold only 2,000 passenger cars to American consumers in October and said it had lost more than $95 million during the past two fiscal years, according to the bankruptcy filing.


Suzuki Determined to Remain in U.S. Market

Reports of imminent departure greatly exaggerated.

by on Feb.10, 2011

Sales may be slow, but those who have bought the Suzuki Kizashi rate it highly.

Suzuki has no intention of withdrawing from the U.S. automotive market.

“That’s a very bad rumor,” Kinji “Kevin” Saito, the president of American Suzuki Motor Corp., told during an exclusive interview at the Chicago Auto Show.

Suzuki suffered badly during  the recession as its sales total plunged sharply for two consecutive year – despite the launch of significant new product, such as the midsize Kizashi sedan.  But the start of the new model-year in October brought a revival of its fortunes.

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Suzuki has every intention of remaining in the American market, Saito said, over dinner, and believes there are plenty of drivers in the midsize segment who appreciate the firm handling, sporty feel and power of the Kizashi sedan.

The Kizashi, which Suzuki brought to market in 2009, can still outperform either the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, which have traditionally dominated in the mid-sized segment, the small Japanese maker believes. Suzuki’s goal is to find buyers who want a more sporty feel in their vehicle than with those mainstream models, Saito said.


First Look: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi

"The complete transformation of our brand."

by on Jul.30, 2009

There's a lot riding on the new midsize 2010 Suzuki Kizashi.

There's a lot riding on the new midsize 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, company officials promising it will bring "the complete transformation" of the Suzuki brand.

Few products have been asked to play such a significant role, but American Suzuki has a lot riding on the upcoming launch of its 2010 Kizashi sedan.

The Japanese maker has long been little more than a niche player in the critical U.S. market – even though it is now the world’s 11th largest automotive manufacturer.  With the addition of the midsize Kizashi to its line-up, Suzuki is hoping to move into the mainstream.  It’s an ambitious – some would say audacious – plan, with the Japanese automaker not only planning to take on big name brands, like Toyota, with its Camry, and Honda, with the Accord, but even some luxury marques, such as Acura.

Great Things to Come!

Great Things to Come!

“This product will complete the transformation of our brand,” said Gene Brown, American Suzuki’s vice president of marketing, during a preview of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi.  The sedan will also have to help reverse a sharp sales decline, among the worst among any brand competing in the American market.

In Japanese, Kizashi means “something great is coming,” and Suzuki put that message out when it first showed the sedan, in concept car form, at the September 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.  It reappeared, a half-year later, at the New York Auto Show.  Now, Suzuki officials confirm the production version is due to hit showrooms by the end of 2009.