After several years of struggling to remain viable in this country, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) has announced that it will "wind down and discontinue new automobile sales in the continental U.S." To that end, it plans to sell all remaining vehicle inventory here through its existing automotive dealership network while restructuring and realigning operations via a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The Chapter 11 filing, which will see ASMC focus on long-term expansion of its existing Motorcycle/ATV and Marine divisions, does not involve the organization's Japanese parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation.
In a formal statement outlining these changes, ASMC noted that it will continue to fully honor all existing warranties in effect on Suzuki cars and trucks and provide automotive parts and services without interruption through the ASMC parts-and-service dealer network. It also will stand behind any automobile buyback agreements in place with various financial institutions. Although departing the American market, Suzuki vehicles will continue to be sold in Canada.
ASMC execs cited a number of reasons that made this dramatic move inevitable. For openers, the limited number of car and truck models in Suzuki's U.S. lineup and a relentlessly unfavorable dollar/yen exchange rate combined to severely impact sales volumes - only 21,188 Suzuki vehicles were sold in America through October, a decline of 5 percent from an already soft 2011. Equally devastating were the costs associated with growing and maintaining an effective distribution system here coupled with disproportionally high and increasing costs that resulted from complying with stringent state and federal regulatory requirements that are unique to the U.S. market. Complete details regarding how the ASMC restructuring process will affect owners of Suzuki vehicles can be found at: www.asmcrealignment.com