Today, October 6th, Suzuki announced it will close the US auto distributor and exit the American market, following Isuzu and Saab.
Although Suzuki will continue selling all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and boat motors in the US, it will not sell new automobile anymore. The automaker’s US distributor has already filed for bankruptcy protection in Santa Ana, California, part of the reorganization plan. The automaker first entered the US market in 1985, but never really managed to win the American customers, like Honda and Toyota did. Now Suzuki will focus on the Indian market, where it has to deal with tough competition from Hyundai.
“Suzuki is no longer among the carmakers like Toyota or Honda to have an advantageous position in the U.S., so why not focus on what it is good at?” said Satoshi Yuzaki, Tokyo-based general manager at Takagi Securities Co. “It makes sense for Suzuki to focus on India and other Asian markets.”
Suzuki agreed to start the reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. On September 30th the automaker had $346 million of debt and $233 million in assets. The automaker’s sales in the United States will end after the current inventory runs out.