Why Suzuki is leaving the U.S. market

Suzuki is dead. Deader than all the leaves you see on your front lawn this fall. Deader than Romney’s bid for presidency (too soon?). Deader than that weird animal that washed up on the shore of some Long Island beach.

Suzuki Going out of business

On the day of the 2012 presidential election, Suzuki announced they would be filing for bankruptcy. Suzuki sold 2,023 cars in October. In October of 2011, they sold about 1,900. With this kind of wild growth, did Suzuki announce its U.S. departure too soon? Absolutely not because first of all, I was being facetious about wild growth and second of all, aside from the Sidekick AKA Escudo and the Samurai, Suzuki never quite got its footing here in the States.

While the sales of used Suzuki vehicles don’t really help the bottom line, it is a sign of brand health. For example, Toyota makes up about 13% of all vehicle views on Mojo Motors. They have massive brand recognition and, more importantly, Toyota is known for high resale values. Suzuki does not. They barely advertise and I’m pretty sure I have never even seen a Suzuki dealership. Plus, meeting the US market’s regulations was a debacle for a brand that builds cars more successfully for the Japanese market.

So how bad are used Suzuki vehicle views on the Mojo Motors website? So bad that it wasn’t even possible to include Toyota or Honda or Ford or Chevrolet on this graph because it made Suzuki run parallel over the x-axis. That’s why we compared Suzuki to Mercury. If you remember, Mercury went out of business in January 2011 which is practically 2010 anyways. That’s nearly two years of Mercury brand defunct-ness, yet it still commands more vehicle views than Suzuki.

Suzuki’s best day ever was .4% of total vehicle views (not visible on this graph). Suzuki does outperform Oldsmobile, SMART and Plymouth, however. Quite an achievement considering Oldsmobile has been defunct since 2004 and Pymouth since 2001.

Even though I have never driven a Suzuki, I did have a soft spot for the SX4 with its AWD and less than $20,000 asking price and the Kizashi which was praised by journalists. Despite pulling out of the U.S. auto market, Suzuki will continue selling motorcycles, ATV’s and marine parts which is cool, I guess.