American Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced plans to stop new automobile sales in the continental United States, and will file with the California Bankruptcy Court under chapter 11. Although the automobile division will eventually be shut down, Suzuki "plans to realign its business to focus on the long-term growth of its Motorcycle/ATV and Marine divisions," according to a press release.
In a letter addressed to U.S. Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Consumers, Takashi Iwatsuki, the Chairman of ASMC, states that "we intend to continue to operate our Motorcycles/ATV and Marine businesses as usual." Warranties will continue to be honored, and parts and service for those divisions will continue uninterrupted. Also of note for motorcyclists, the letter goes on to state that "Suzuki will also continue to have a strong presence as a sponsor of teams in supercross, outdoor motocross and road racing.
According to the press release, ASMC "determined that its Automotive division was facing a number of serious challenges. These challenges include low sales volumes, a limited number of models in its line-up, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, the high costs associated with growing and maintaining an automotive distribution system in the continental U.S. and the disproportionally high and increasing costs associated with stringent state and federal regulatory requirements unique to the U.S. market. While the decision to discontinue new automobile sales in the U.S. was difficult to make, today’s actions were inevitable under these circumstances. ASMC is dedicated to honoring its commitments to Automotive customers through and after the wind down of new automobile sales in the continental U.S." Remaining automobile inventory will be sold through the automotive dealer network, which will eventually be transitioned to parts and service operations.
More information, including the full text of the press release, the letter to automotive consumers, the letter to motorcycles/ATV and marine consumers, and a FAQ, is available at www.asmcrealignment.com.