Should Suzuki Pack Up and Go Home?


Something’s wrong over at Suzuki.

The Japanese automaker is skidding hard, as its sales are down a staggering 78 percent from one year ago.

That might not surprise many people. In fact, I’ll bet most folks can’t even recall the last Suzuki ad they saw or even tell me where their nearest dealer is.

Another part of the problem is Suzuki’s American lineup, which includes the Korean-built Forenza and Reno, and the lackluster XL-7.

But Suzuki has been in the news a lot lately. First came those sobering sales numbers. Then analysts urged Suzuki to exit the American car market. But there’s some good news, too, as Suzuki is getting some nice press on the new SX4 Sportback. Also, the infamous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was won by Nobuhiro Tajima driving a customized SX4.

Of course, the car used for the hill climb was outfitted with a whopping 850 horsepower, but still, it should lend some credibility to just how good the car is.

suzuki_kizashi_conceptI think if Suzuki can eke out enough sales of the Japanese-built SX4 and sell them in the same dealerships that sell motorcycles, the company might have a chance of staying in the American market. Plus, Suzuki’s Camry-fighter, the Kizashi (at right), is due to hit dealerships in 2010. If it’s a success, stay tuned for Suzuki’s American rebirth.

If it flops, watch for the company to pack up and ship out.

Do you even know where your local Suzuki car dealership is? Do you care whether or not the company stays in the United States?



  1. Suzuki’s time is NOW. They know it and while other makes are cutting back, rebadging and moving into smaller directions Suzuki is building the affordable cars with all the goods, building the smaller cars we need and NOW LOVE, and they are building FUN TO DRIVE vehicles. Their time is now, they know it. Others stating they should leave and just afraid of what WE IN THE KNOW, Know… Their clients are in trouble and with the trends giving Suzuki a 5 year advance on even the likes of Toyota and Honda. They are scared, their clients are worried, and Suzuki KNOWS it.

    Suzuki is the 3rd most popular make in Japan, they are gaining ground in Europe (Tiff from Fifth Gear stated in three episodes over the last 2 years that he Loves Suzuki cars and Prefers them over any other Make in their class-even the Mini and Fiat 500 were trumped).

    Suzuki is doing what they do. Make small, quick, affordable cars with every option as standard. They are doing it in one of the safest structures too (SX4 compared to all others in class except Volvo C30, it is safer).

  2. I think if Suzuki can eke out enough sales of the Japanese-built SX4 and sell them in the same dealerships that sell motorcycles, the company might have a chance of staying in the American market.

    WTF are you smoking? That has to be the dumbest idea i have ever seen. Do you guy know anything about Suzuki history? Suzuki will never go out of business. Do more research before you spit out dumb all over the Internet.

    • Never were we suggesting that Suzuki go out of business. We love Suzuki. We were commenting on analysts’ suggestions that Suzuki leave the U.S. market; not go out of business. We’re well aware of Suzuki’s success in the world market and hopeful for their future U.S. success.

  3. I do not have a “local” Suzuki dealer, despite living in the middle of the nation’s largest import market. Suzuki has but four showrooms in the entire Los Angeles region, and only one in L.A. county — at the distant southern periphery.

    Prospective buyers are nixing the brand for this reason alone. They may trust the name and appreciate the product, but aren’t prepared to commit to a long-distance relationship (30-plus miles from most areas of the city) with their dealer and service department.

  4. To answer your questions, yes I know were my closest Suzuki Dealerships is, Suzuki Depot Santa Ana, and yes I care because the Swift will be out in 2010/2011.

    I would also like to point out that Suzuki stopped selling the Korean built Forenza/Reno’s a year ago and the XL7 stopped production a few months ago as it was based on a GM platform that is no longer produced. The XL7 is still listed as there are still some in stock they are trying to sell.

    I think that the vehicles that Suzuki does sell look good and are a good value and the sales slump has more to do with less models then people not buying them. Suzuki is producing less cars to sell while the model line up changes and refreshes. You might have realized half of this if you at least went to Suzuki’s web site. I provided a link for you so that you can better fact check next time. You know so that you can at least attempt to be a “guru”

  5. First off, the Korean-built Suzukis are no longer in the model lineup for 2009. Therefore, you can most likely account for a sales drop because they no longer offer the Reno or Forenza; it’s two less models that consumers would be able to purchase (although I’m not sure why they’d want to in the first place).

    Suzuki is known throughout the world as a leader in small cars. Suzuki sells very well in many markets throughout the world. However, they haven’t been able to get it together in the U.S. yet.

    Hopefully the Kizashi does sell well, and helps to keep them afloat. As an owner of the AWD SX4, I’m very pleased with it. There are two dealers in my metro area, thankfully.

    What I believe Suzuki needs to do is, first, bring over the Swift. Secondly, they need to focus on what they do best: Small vehicles. Let’s keep the SX4, add the Swift, and the Kizashi, and keep the Grand Vitara. However, keep things no bigger than a Kizashi; possibly importing other small Suzukis from the Japanese or European markets.

    I’m a believer in Suzuki’s true models (e.g. not something made by another manufacturer and rebadged). However, the company will need to step up its marketing, introduce some more great vehicles, and march on.

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