After nearly three decades of production, Suzuki has announced its departure from the U.S. automotive market. Suzuki first began manufacturing automobiles for the U.S. market in 1985 and will stop selling automobiles once their current supply runs out. They will however continue to produce motorcycles, ATV’s, and watercraft here in the U.S.
According to the press release, Suzuki determined that it’s automotive division was facing a serious number of challenges cited as “low sales volumes, a limited number of models in its line-up, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, the high costs associated with growing and maintaining an automotive distribution system in the continental U.S. and the disproportionally high and increasing costs associated with stringent state and federal regulatory requirements unique to the U.S. market.” In short, Americans never took to Suzuki like they did with other Japanese manufactures, such as Honda and Toyota.
So what does this mean to current Suzuki owners? Unlike recent U.S departures, such as Pontiac and Saab, Suzuki will continue to sell automobiles in other markets around the world. Suzuki will also continue to honor current owner’s warranties and parts will still widely be available in the U.S. through Suzuki’s parts and service dealer networks. So rest assured that if something does go wrong, you will still be able to get your Suzuki repaired at an authorized service center. The question that does remain is if that will be the same Suzuki dealership you have been going to or if those warranty claims will be transferred to another dealer.
Suzuki set up the following website as a message to its current owners: http://www.asmcrealignment.com/. The information included reiterates what Suzuki stated in its press release. A question running through prospective Suzuki customers minds must be “Is this a good time to buy a new Suzuki?” I’m sure Suzuki will have a number of attractive incentives for new buyers as they try to exhaust their current supply of new vehicles. If you are thinking of buying a new Suzuki, be sure to weigh the risks carefully and quiz the dealership about its future plans.
Suzuki’s departure can only make you wonder who will be the next to go in these ever changing times. I guess only time will tell...