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Newburgh, Indiana, United States
Yesterday's announcement that American Suzuki has filed for bankruptcy is all but a death blow for the Japanese automaker's 246 US dealers, but if there's any good news coming out of the situation, it could be the fact that the whole process will likely be quick and painless rather than drawn out. WardsAuto is reporting that with the current inventory and average sales numbers so far this year, there figures to be about three months left for Suzuki's new-car business in the US given current sales rates.
In October, Suzuki sold 2,023 units - a five percent increase over last year - but with just 5,549 left in inventory, it shouldn't take too long to wind down operations. Sales for the brand peaked 2007 with more than 100,000 units sold, but this year, Suzuki is barely on pace to reach a quarter of that amount, with just 21,188 units sold so far in 2012. In addition to poor sales, WardsAuto also notes that Suzuki faced problems due to its reliance on customers with subprime credit.
Suzuki will continue to sell motorcycles, ATVs and marine engines in the US, while the brand's cars will still be on sale in other countries including Canada and Mexico.
Even though American Suzuki Motor Corporation filed for bankruptcy last year and stopped selling cars in the US and Canada as part of its reorganization, there are still plenty of countries around the world where Suzuki continues to sell autos. For those markets, the automaker is working on a compact sport-utility vehicle, called the iV-4, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Suzuki says the iV-4 "embodies the basic ruggedness of an SUV," and that its styling is modern and innovative. We'll have to take Suzuki's word on that one, though the teaser above certainly looks the part, with the grille reminding us of the one found on the Jeep Grand Cherokee (minus a few slats, of course).
Scroll down for the short-and-sweet press release, and expect the full brace of information to be revealed in September.
Following word that Suzuki is ceasing car sales in America, it appears that demand for the Japanese automaker's wares have increased. According to The Detroit News, American Suzuki Motor Corp. will import an additional 2,500 vehicles to quench demand that has jumped since the company announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and ending sales in America.
Dealers recently informed their sales personnel that no more vehicles would be produced and that this was the final push. With heavy incentives and a seven-year warranty as value-adds, November sales for Suzuki rose in November some 22 percent, up to 2,224 vehicles. December sales also rose, but neither month's gains outweigh the long-term losses for the automaker. While Suzuki will sell roughly 22,000 cars this year in the US, it was selling about 120,000 annually before 2008.
As it stands, Suzuki will sell off the rest of its vehicle inventory, including the 2,500 additional units, and dealers will continue to provide parts an warranty work. With all of this negative news for the automaker, it's impressive to see an interest in Suzuki vehicles even with the imminent shuttering of its North American car sales.