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Suzuki to pull out of U.S. car business

27 Comments

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© 2012 AFP

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The first car I bought was a Suzuki Samurai and even it got tons of negative press for being able to tip over I still loved it. Served me well in the U.S. for 3 years until I came to Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is not because of quality, it is a matter of name recognition. Suzuki has always been associated with small to large motor cycles. The black suits in charge of marketing need to know it is all about image.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kind of a lame reason given - what - motorcycles, ATV,s and marine products are not affected by the same exchange rate? I think its more to do with Suzuki America,s poor management and product mix ( I mean they don,t sell the Swift range in the US which is one of their main product lines in other western markets ) and their SUV,s - Vitara, Jimny...have too long product cycles - eg. the Vitara has been around pretty much unchaged for what -over 6 or 7 years already? while the competitors have refreshed their range ages ago. Its a shame though because Suzuki do have some good cars...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Loved the Samurai. They were great off road. And the Swift was alright. Too bad.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Suzuki needs some more publicity and advertisements. Something shocking like the recent Toyota androgynous commercial. Well at least Suzuki still enjoys good sales in other market like India and Southeast asia.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've had a Suzuki Every cargo van, Jimny and a Wagon R. They've all been great and I can attest to their quality.

I agree with the above posters that the marketing of Suzuki cars has always been poor. Quite low-key and almost unnoticeable. Also, it's difficult to market such small cars in a "big car/truck" minded-country.

Too bad. They're great cars.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Suzuki lacked in the ultra-competitive North American market due to their blatant disregard for marketing, and just how important marketing is to the success of products overseas. I was recently car searching, and actually ended up deciding between a Suzuki and a Mitsubishi, which I ended up buying due to being impressed by the quality of the car and the brand image. Although, the Suzuki I was interested in wasn't bad, it just didn't "fit" me personally... I probably would have picked it over say a Subaru or Kia though!

Also, if I recall correctly, American Suzuki Motor Corp. is not owned by Suzuki right? They are just distributers of Suzuki products... So the Japanese side is not very involved in the American operations if I am correct.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The product market mix was not good for Suzuki in the US. Product wise they were pushind off-road small cars in which can not compete with big offroaders while neglecting the small car fuel efficiency value which appeals to the urban dwellers but cannot compete with hybrids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good cars but not for the US market. Stick to emerging markets like India

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Korean makers are taking bigger and bigger slices of the US and global market segments that were once dominated by the Japanese. It's odd how the Japanese makers won't admit this, instead blaming their problems on the yen.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Suzuki just made bad decisions in the states. I never understood the why they didn't break the Suzuki Swift Sport over. That's a direct competitor with the base model Minis. Personally, I think it's a better car than any of the Minis.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hahaha!! The Suzuki Samurai?? Even here in Japan when I here one of these things come up I swear they sound more like a motorcycle than the engine of a REAL car!! Maybe time to export the Suzuki Wagon R??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tsk.. they should've hired Stav Strashko to help with the marketing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

****lack of diversification, lack of range for the US market. so what is Suzuki going to do on other makets as teh counsumer move away from small car( as they will) just simply pull out .........how about expanding teh product range to suite?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

first isuzu and now susuki. Is subaru next?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My mechanic buddy said Suzuki was the best car he ever bought. I didn't believe him because Suzuki? What cars do they make? Anyway, now here in Japan my wife has a Lapin. It's a kei but damn it's a great little car. If she'd only gotten the SS version it'd be perfect for living in Osaka.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

US companies need to stop thinking about profits only and need to get more competitive so we can send these companies back to where they belong. It is time for America to get on its feet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

US companies need to stop thinking about profits only and need to get more competitive so we can send these companies back to where they belong. It is time for America to get on its feet.

Speaking as an American, that was pretty ignorant. This WAS an American company separate from the Japanese Suzuki divisions. American workers and American salespeople. This company already WAS "where they belong".

And, no. It's not time for America to get back on its feet. Until the standard of living of most of the other countries of the world starts to approach ours, there will always be another country who can manufacture things more cheaply than we can while still turning a profit. Japan used to be the "go to" country for outsourced labor, then in the 70's their economy ramped-up and labor costs increased. Then it was South Korea, until their labor expenses became closer to ours. Now it's China but there are indications they are starting to feel the "standard of living" drag on their economy. Next it will be various third-world countries. Once the world gets close to where we are - labor wise, then you'll see the U.S. get back up and move ahead again. But I doubt I will see it in my lifetime because there still are too many countries with extremely low standards of living and with work forces longing for the stability of a regular job at a wage they can live with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I doubt Subaru will drop out of the US market. There's a high demand for them in areas that get snow. Not to mention their high performance WRX and WRX STIs sell well. Even their new BRZ's preorders sold out. You'd be lucky to go to a dealer and pick one up. Sold before they even leave production.

Time for America to get on it's feet. Yep, on their feet, where even US car companies have their cars manufactured elsewhere. Like Fords built in Mexico and Canada. Hell, I think Ford has better car offerings in Europe. Pretty sad that it took forever in a day for the sport versions of the Ford Focus to hit the states.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

America is all about hype or patriotism.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Also, it's difficult to market such small cars in a "big car/truck" minded-country.

The reverse of Japan or India. Ya gotta market to your locale.

America is all about hype or patriotism.

That's why they buy Toyota.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's too bad. I like Suzuki more than other cars as both I owned were very reliable. Only thing I needed to do was oil change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I used to live in a pretty remote part of Australia. Anybody who bought a Suzuki was on a losing ride to nowhere. I don't know anyone who was happy with how their Suzukis handled the serious offroad stuff that was required in that part of the world. As for their regular line of cars, they weren't in the same ball park as what Toyota and Nissan had to offer. Not surprised that they're deciding to focus on their bikes and ATVs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can recall back 10 years ago looking at a Suzuki. Found out the banks don't like to give a four year loan on the cars because the longevity was so bad. Once the tie-up with Chevy disappeared the sales dropped too. Suzuki advertising for their cars is invisible. On the other hand my Suzuki DR-Z400s was a great bike. With a bigger fuel tank and a smaller rear sprocket it would give the KLR a run for the money, especially off road.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suzuki cars in the U.S. was facing a number of serious challenges, including the low sales volume, lack of models, the unfavorable exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen, the cost of the maintaining a dealership network in the U.S. Suzuki also has low margin, low-priced cars with small volume. That's far from the ideal combination. Over the long term, it's hard to sustain a Suzuki brand on such little volume when you don't have a healthy margin like exotic or specialty brands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You wonder about Subaru and Mitsubishi possibly being next

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you think Subaru is going to pull out of the US market, you know nothing about Subaru.

It may be a niche brand, but has a loyal customer base, and is actually posting record sales increases in the US market.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121030/OEM/121039988/subaru-parent-raises-full-year-profit-forecast-on-u-s-sales-gains

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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