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 Forenzaand 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.


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. 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.

One comment

  1. Subcompact Culture

    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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