It’s been a sketchy few months for Suzuki, what with the announcement that they were to withdraw from the U.S market at the close of last year. This was by no means the end of the road however, with the upshot of this being a 22% increase in American sales for November as models there took on limited status. Not only that, but the brand has been performing strongly in international markets and has enjoyed a welcome boost with recent award success.
Analysis has suggested that stopping sales of new vehicles from Suzuki’s North American distributors was a wise decision, following a decline in interest since the 2008 global recession. The modest-sized domestic motors may have struggled in the U.S but in the growing markets of South-East Asia, the company has been making substantial profits and its Maruti Suzuki unit in India is gaining in momentum all the time. Suzuki’s USP of affordable compact cars continues to sell in native Japan, their small ‘kei’ vehicles well-suited to the congested roads.
Add to this the news that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have awarded the Suzuki Kizashi one of the safest motors around and things are most definitely on the turn for the auto manufacturer. It’s not the first medal for Suzuki’s answer to the family saloon either, winning accolades from Australia and New Zealand in 2010 and consistently rating high in value for money tests in the U.S., as recent as last year. Based on stringent crash tests, the not-for-profit organisation named the Kizashi one of 13 ‘Top Safety Picks’ for new cars last year.
Although certain to concentrate its energies elsewhere, Suzuki will keep selling parts and honour warranties in America, as well as continuing its motorcycle and off-road vehicle lines. Remaining in profit throughout the global economic downturn was no small feat and if the Japanese auto-wizards build on the success of the Kizashi, it’ll be worth looking to find a Suzuki model from websites such as Car Sales and keeping an eye on the company for the months to come.