Suzuki Hocks Incentives as It Attempts to Wind Down Sales

By Jacob Brown | December 04, 2012
One can imagine Suzuki's corporate offices are something like the end of Trading Places when brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke are yelling "Sell! Sell!" as they're being trampled by traders who want to buy frozen concentrated orange juice instead. In the real world, Suzuki has a few thousand cars it's unloading at all costs, and it's in a highly competitive market where owners buy partly on resale value and dealership service—two places where Suzuki suffered throughout its decades of car sales in the U.S. Now, it's just seeing how low its prices can go as it ducks out of the U.S. to focus on its ATV, motorcycle, and water-going divisions. Last month, Suzuki's U.S. car division announced it was closing shop, organizing a bankruptcy wind-down with Ally Financial. Suzuki is offering zero-percent financing for 72 months and between $500 and $2000 cash back for new vehicles. In Suzuki's bankruptcy announcement, it said it had about 5,000 cars on dealership lots and another 1,500 to 1,700 being shipped there, classified as 2013 models. In November, 2,224 of those vehicles found homes. Through 11 months, Suzuki sold 23,412 vehicles in the U.S., down 3 percent on the year.
According to the documents filed with Ally, Suzuki is fully planning to honor its 36,000-mile/36-month basic warranty and seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, turning some of its dealerships into service centers as they likely take on other brands. And despite a much more limited market, Suzuki will be continuing to sell cars in Canada. We're figuring our northern neighbors not only have a cheaper certification process for new vehicles, but also that marketing costs are much less, too. Suzuki sells about 500 cars per month in Canada. Sources: Automotive News (Subscription required), Suzuki