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Suzuki to cease car imports to the US

Pulled the plug: The Kizashi sedan, launched in 2009, was the newest member of Suzuki’s ailing US car division.

Factory distributor for Suzuki US cuts car sales, focuses on motorcycles and boats

Suzuki logo6 Nov 2012

AMERICAN Suzuki Motor Corporation has blamed unfavourable exchange rates, stiff competition and tightening environmental and safety regulations for its decision to end car sales in the US.

The US factory distributor for Suzuki Motor Corporation announced this week it would wind down automotive imports in order to better focus on its more viable motorcycle, ATV and marine divisions.

American Suzuki, which has aggregate debts of $346 million ($A332 million), has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and has begun the process of turning its 220-dealer network into exclusive service and parts providers.

Chapter 11 entitles American Suzuki to retain control of its business operations as it re-structures.

The US dealer network will be compensated in accordance with the terms of their contracts.

The distributor said in a statement that poor US sales and increasingly stringent environmental and safety regulations were two key factors behind its decision, which it labelled as “difficult” but “inevitable”.

The announcement comes after Suzuki experienced sales growth of 5 per cent in October, with sales of 2023 units, but year-to-date sales through October totalled 21,188 vehicles, down 5 percent on the same period last year.

Annual sales have plummeted since the days before the Global Financial Crisis, dropping more than three-quarters since the 2007 high-water mark of 101,884 units.

Suzuki’s US line-up comprised the SX4, Grand Vitara, Kizashi and the Equator ute, which is essentially a rebadged Nissan Navara.

Suzuki’s most popular car in Australia, the Swift, was not sold in the US.

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