Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
April 16, 2012
To say Suzuki is hurting would be a large understatement. The brand is showing many signs of trouble which include,
- Suzuki's first quarter sales totaled 6,561 vehicles, a drop of 2% over last year. Meanwhile, in the same quarter, the market rose 13%.
- Suzuki skipped the Los Angeles and Detroit Auto Show
- Suspended their social media activity (i.e. Facebook & Twitter) two months ago
- Steve Younan, the top U.S. product planning and marketing executive, left in January and will not be replaced.
- Suzuki hasn't aired a ad nationally since 2009
- In January, Suzuki stopped getting data from J.D. Power and Associates
- Since 2005, Suzuki has been losing dealers. Last year, 32 Suzuki dealers closed (about 12%)
- A Suzuki dealer told Automotive News that about 60% of Suzuki's remaining dealers sell five or less vehicles per month
Now, a report from Automotive News says Suzuki is focused on short-term profitability than investment.
"They seem to be more interested in controlling expenses than increasing revenue," a source said.
The brand has been cutting costs wherever possible. A good amount of those cuts have effected the promotional aspect of the business. Not a good thing since Suzuki has refreshed versions of the SX4 subcompact and Grand Vitara SUV coming out later this year.
"The strange thing to me is, even at this bare minimum, when the opportunity is presented to make some news and provide something positive for customers and the dealers, they avoid it," said another source.
The question being asked now is whether Suzuki is planning to rebuild their U.S. operations or make an exit out of the U.S.?
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)