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Posts Tagged ‘Suzuki’

Weather Wreaks Havoc with Global Auto Production

Makers dealing with ice, snow and rain in recent weeks.

by on Feb.17, 2014

Winter weather like this has severely impacted the production schedules of automakers around the world.

Stories of how the weather is impacting just about everyone and everything in the U.S., including the auto industry, are dominating the headlines. However, when it comes to the automakers, it is not just the U.S. that’s suffering, the problems are spread across the globe.

The latest to suffer at the hands of Mother Nature is Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. The three Japanese makers suspended production after snowstorms disrupted parts shipments from suppliers.

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Toyota halted production at four plants, Suzuki saw three plants close while Honda just one. It was second time this year that a major storm has caused the makers to shut down, which is unusual for the island nation. (more…)

Ford Makes Gains As Toyota Tumbles

Recalls, quality glitches hurt Japanese maker while new Ford products connect with market, says new study.

by on Jul.15, 2010

The Ford Fusion (the hybrid version shown here) had the highest loyalty of any model in the U.S. market during the first quarter.

While the U.S. car market has “clearly turned the corner” from last year’s decades-low slump, this year’s slow turnaround is treating some makers better than others – and threatens the very survival of some marques.

Domestic makers are, on the whole, gaining ground according to an analysis of first-quarter 2010 new vehicle registration data, though the clear winner is Ford Motor Co.  For imports, the situation is more mixed.  Honda and Nissan were able to make some gains, reports research firm Experian Automotive, but the ongoing series of safety recalls and quality glitches clearly took a toll on the industry giant, Toyota.

“Toyota was the only major manufacturer (other than Chrysler) not up by double digits” during the first three months of 2010, noted Jeffrey Anderson, Experian’s Director of Consulting & Analytics.

Significantly, the damage to Toyota’s image is having an impact in the market, especially among those motorists who the company has long counted on to keep building its sales and market share.  According to Anderson, the Japanese  maker appears to be having far more trouble “conquesting.”

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“Toyota traditionally had a large chunk of its sales come from domestic buyers who never owned an import,” Anderson added, but the number of buyers “conquested” from Detroit’s Big Three brands fell by nearly half during the quarter.  That alone “probably cost” the carmaker 37,000 lost sales during the first quarter, or about 15% of its total volume.


Who’ll Follow Mercury Onto the Automotive Rust Heap?

There are plenty of other troubled brands.

by on Jun.03, 2010

If the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander doesn't turn things around for the troubled brand its fate, at least in the U.S., will be decidedly uncertain.

Remember Packard?  Or Plymouth?  How about Eagle or Oldsmobile?

A search of the automotive morgue yields the name of more than 800 different brand names that have vanished from the U.S. market alone over the last century.  Some, like Packard and Olds, were immensely popular in their day, the latter General Motors division generating sales of more than a million as recently as the early-1980s.  Others, like Chrysler’s Eagle, were ill-conceived ventures that were given mercifully little time before being pulled from the market.

As Ford’s announcement that it will finally pull 71-year-old Mercury off life support underscores, the ongoing automotive sales crisis has led to the demise of more automotive brands than at any time since the Great Depression.  The question, analysts ask, is whether still more nameplates could vanish in the coming years?

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Is there room for a Suzuki, Mitsubishi or Saab, as well as Ram and Fiat?

(Click Here for more on Mercury’s demise. More on vanishing brands on the next page.)


Suzuki in the U.S. to Stay, Maker Insists

Maker vows to press on despite weakening volume.

by on Feb.11, 2010

So far, the launch of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi hasn't done much for the brand's sales.

Contrary to speculation floating around the industry, Suzuki has no plans to stop selling cars and sport utility vehicle in the United States, senior officials are vowing.

During a press conference at the Chicago Auto Show, Suzuki Vice President Gene Brown emphasized that, “We’re here to stay.”  Questions about its long-term commitment to the market have been raised a number of times, in recent years, and surfaced, again, after General Motors bought out Suzuki’s stake in the CAMMI joint venture Suzuki helped set up, in Ingersoll, Ontario.

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With demand for its own products going, while Suzuki struggles to gain traction here, GM was eager to take over the plant to build its newest crossover vehicles. But Suzuki is looking for ways to kick-start its own sales in the U.S., one of the few global markets where it doesn’t have a strong presence.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week's raves, rejoinders and remembrances of things past.

by on Apr.24, 2009

Country Music Video Dramatizes Plight of Detroit’s Auto Workers

I’m not a big fan of country music, other than Willie Nelson, but there’s a recent country music video homage to the Detroit’s devastating automobile industry’s economic and personal abyss by country star John Rich.

Called “Shuttin Down Detroit,” the emotional, touching, poignant music video stars Kris Kristofferson as a laid off auto worker and recent Oscar nominee, Mickey Rourke is his shop buddy. Through series of well produced, acted and directed scenes Kristofferson’s story unfolds. Inter cut among the acting of two real pros is John Rich, photographed in a dismal empty factory singing his original lamentation about the industry’s economic woes, affected auto workers and Wall Street.

It’s tough stuff. Click here. Also on You Tube same music but with images and graphics added obviously by a native Detroiter. has also put up another country and western song about the collapse of Detroit. (more…)

Potential Saturn Buyers Surface

Independent Saturn could serve up Chinese products.

by on Apr.15, 2009

The Saturn Astra was supposed to win over young, import-oriented buyers, but instead, its lack of success has convinced GM it needs to sell off the once-promising brand.

The Saturn Astra was supposed to win over young, import-oriented buyers, but instead, its lack of success has convinced GM it needs to sell off the once-promising brand.

General Motors Corp. has confirmed that it is moving ahead with talks on a possible sale of Saturn Distribution LLC to one of two groups of private investors that have expressed an interest in the dealership network.

The objective of a deal would be to turn Saturn Distribution LLC, which is now wholly owned  by GM, into an independent distribution company that would handle vehicles from other manufacturers after its contracts with GM runs out in 2011. GM has said it would continue to supply vehicles to Saturn until then but its decision to sell – or, if necessary, even close – Saturn is now irreversible.

As noted in GM’s viability plan, GM announced it would review the potential spin-off or sale of Saturn and if those options did not prove viable, Saturn’s operations would be wound down over time. Over approximately the past 60 days, a sub-committee of Saturn retailers has been studying the feasibility of the sale or spin-off option, and has identified some parties that are potentially interested in a purchase or spin-off of Saturn.

Subscribe to“We are advised that one of the interested parties is Black Oak Partners (Oklahoma City.)  We are not at liberty to discuss any other interested party. With respect to what the eventual outcome concerning Saturn might be with Black Oak or any other interested party, it is simply premature at this time to speculate on what any eventual outcome may be,” GM said in a statement.