Bankrupt Suzuki to exit the US?
SUZUKI STRUGGLING IN THE US: Suzuki could exit the US following the announcement that it sole distributor in the country would be filing for bankruptcy protection.
NEW YORK, USA - Japanese automaker Suzuki said it would shut down its vehicle business in the United States and file for bankruptcy, citing a strong yen and weak demand for its cars in the US.
American Suzuki Motor Corp (ASMC), the automaker sole distributor, said it has debts of R3-billion. ASMC said that it would continue selling motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine products in the US.
Suzuki sold 26 000 vehicles in the US in 2011, a fraction of rival Japanese automakers such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda.
ASMC said: "(We) recognised it will be unable to maintain profitability with respect to the automobile marketing business."
The Suzuki division, which employs 365 people, said it has faced difficulties due to the Japanese currency and weak demand for its vehicles in the US market.
Warranties on vehicles already sold in the US market would be honoured despite the filing, it added.
The Japanese firm has focused much of its attention on emerging markets including India where its profitable Maruti Suzuki joint venture is the nation's biggest automaker.