Drive Type: 4x4
Newburgh, Indiana, United States
American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), which declared bankruptcy in early November, has been approved by the courts for up to $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing to enable it to shutter its US car business. ASMC had received a $45 million loan from the Japanese parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), last month in order to make repayment deals with its franchise dealers. At the same time, ASMC was awaiting final court approval of this larger loan.
Out of the newly approved funds, $50 million can be used for operations, and oddly, the other $50 million can be put toward purchases of new inventory from SMC. That's right, even as existing inventory was headed for a smooth exit with the help of incentives, customer demand for orphan Suzuki models is so strong - last month's sales were up 22 percent compared to 2011 - that ASMC plans to purchase 2,500 additional cars from SMC that were built after the bankruptcy announcement. Good news for the owners of those vehicles: the top 50 dealers, representing more than 98 percent of ASMC sales, will become parts and services centers.
The press release below has more information. Unlike its recent tenure here, the end of Suzuki cars in the US looks like it's going rather well.
American Suzuki Motors is leaving us, but as long as the lights are on at YouTube, its commercials will stay behind to remind of the times we shared. We dug up nine commercials - sort of like a Time Life infomercial for an entire brand - and among the starring actors are the X-90 improving the 90s with the help of a Pez dispenser, the Peter Pan-ish Sidekick, Optimus Prime getting his pipes all smoked up over the 1987 Samurai and an XL7 that would have sold in the millions if its commercial were even half true.
We've also included a remarkably oddball eight-minute featurette/commercial about a giant Suzuki Swift. You'll find the retrospective in the videos below. Enjoy.
Suzuki might be dead in the US, but its cars are still thriving in many other markets. Aside from the updated SX4 and a slew of promising concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki is getting ready to launch a much-needed replacement for the aged Grand Vitara, and our spy photographers recently caught the compact SUV testing in Sweden.
Judging by these spy shots, the replacement for the current Grand Vitara - it may or may not retain the Grand Vitara name - will take its styling cues from the Suzuki iV-4 Concept displayed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. These cues include the narrow, angular headlights, the sloped D-pillars and we even get a hint of the sculpted rear-wheel arches. We hear that the new Suzuki SUV could go on sale in Europe next year, so we'd expect it to debut later in 2014.