After thirty years of selling it's vehicles in Canada, Suzuki Motor Corp is closing up shop here and leaving the Canadian market. The company's announcement comes hot on the heels of Suzuki declaring bankruptcy in the US in November 2012. At that time the company said that they planned to remain in Canada where their cars were more popular. Canadians are more likely to purchase small, inexpensive vehicles than American car buyers.
While small, inexpensive cars are indeed more popular up here than below the 49th parallel, volumes just aren't high enough to justify production runs that catered to North American standards. Canadians represent only 10% of what the US market can offer a manufacturer. Suzuki sold nearly 5,500 cars here in Canada in 2012, but those numbers are not enough to cover the unique design and development expenses incurred during development for the North American market. Suzuki said that it is no longer feasible to produce vehicles for distribution and sale in Canada. North American requirements differ from those in Suzuki's larger Indian and Japanese markets. Without US sales to boost revenues and subsidize those expenses, it was only a matter of time before they were forced to pull out of Canada too.
Initially, Suzuki thought Canada an important enough market that they moved some manufacturing here. Suzuki's Canadian sales peaked in Canada, the same year they opened their Ingersoll, ON manufacturing plant, CAMI Automotive which was a joint venture with General Motors, hitting numbers around 15,000 units, a number not seen by the company in Canada again. Suzuki halted manufacturing at that plant in 2009, selling it's stake in the facility to GM. The company sold 5,458 units in Canada in 2012, but those numbers dropped by 30 percent in the first two months of 2013.
Suzuki will continue selling it's vehicles here throughout the 2014 model year. Suzuki says that parts and service to their vehicles will continue, and that all warranties will be honoured, even after new vehicle sales cease. Suzuki dealers will be given 12 months to transition to providers of service and warranty operations.
The company will continue to sell their motorcycles, marine products and all terrain vehicles here, but are withdrawing completely from the North American automotive sector. Their withdrawal will mean a modest boost in sales to other Asian manufacturers of small, cheap cars.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca