Japan’s Suzuki has sold cars in the United States for 27 years, but poor sales and unfavorable exchange rates have prompted the company to exit the world’s second-largest car market.
Reuters reports that the company’s U.S. subsidiary will use a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to effectively call it quits on American car sales. It will continue to sell motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and boats.
South Korea’s Kia (owned by Hyundai) and Japan’s Nissan (allied with France’s Renault) stand to benefit the most. Suzuki is the fourth-largest carmaker in its home country.
Suzuki models did not catch on in the US and the company suffered from a lack of investment in new vehicles. It also struggled from the strong yen that makes it more expensive to export products from Japan.
Its total American sales for 2012 are just 21,188 vehicles. That’s five percent fewer than 2011 even as the rest of the automotive market rebounds. Only Smart cars, the miniature vehicles sold by Daimler, sell more poorly in the U.S.
Photo: Suzuki’s 2013 Kizashi mid-size sport sedan. (Suzuki)