American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, AutoTrader.com has learned, marking the end of the road for Suzuki cars in the U.S. Hampered by a limited dealer network and a model lineup that ultimately wasn't compelling enough to make up for it, ASMC will step aside after nearly three decades of production and let Suzuki focus on its core strengths in the motorcycle, ATV and marine-sports markets.
If you own a Suzuki vehicle, don't worry, as Suzuki has pledged that "all warranties will continue to be fully honored...and automobile parts and service will be provided to consumers without interruption." Since dealerships make a good deal of money from selling parts and service, we expect that some dual brand dealerships will continue to welcome Suzuki customers. Still, some dealerships will certainly close and it's not entirely clear how this will work once ASMC shutters its dealerships, so we'd advise keeping an eye on this website for current information. If you're shopping for a Suzuki, you might want to ask the selling dealer if they plan to continue to offer parts and service in the coming years.
You can also call Suzuki's special hotline at (877) 465-4819 with any questions.
From our vantage point, it's a shame that ASMC couldn't have held out a little longer, because its newest model, the Kizashi sedan, was a genuine winner. Blessed with sophisticated Euro-style driving dynamics and just-right dimensions, the Kizashi seemed like a sign that Suzuki was finally getting serious. We distinctly recall the optimism at ASMC when the excellent "Wicked Weather" Kizashi commercial debuted at this year's Super Bowl. Alas, even the best products need marketing and dealership support to succeed, and Suzuki's sparse resources kept the Kizashi and its stablemates from realizing their potential.
On the bright side, if you don't mind dealing with some uncertainty on the service front, there are likely some killer deals out there on leftover Suzuki cars and trucks. The Kizashi is naturally our favorite, but you might also consider Suzuki's best-selling model, the versatile SX4 economy car, as well as the Nissan-based Equator pickup. As of this writing, over 3,000 new Suzukis are still available on AutoTrader.com. Given the company's respectable reputation for reliability, a Suzuki could be a smart buy at the right price during this transitional period.
What it means to you: Now might be a great time to get a deal on a new Suzuki. Current and future owners will still benefit from the manufacturer warranty.