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Suzuki sales jump as company winds down its U.S. operations

Suzuki sales jump as company winds down its U.S. operations

The company is importing one last batch of cars to meet the demand

December 27th, 2012 by James R. Hood of ConsumerAffairs in News

When American Suzuki announced in November that it was filing for bankruptcy, exiting the U.S. market and dumping its dealer network, that seemed to be the end of the road for the slow-selling Japanese brand.

But not only have dealers been clearing out their inventory, they're crying for more, Bloomberg News reported. Suzuki says it will import one final batch of about 2,500 cars to meet the demand that surged after the bankruptcy was announced.

November sales jumped 22% to 2,224 units and sales have remained strong in December, the company said.

Adopting an orphan

Why are so many consumers eager to buy a car that's about to become an orphan? It's most likely the allure of generous incentives and a seven-year warranty the company is offering during its final days.

What good is a warranty if the company is gone? Good question, but Suzuki insists it will maintain relations with its dealers, even though those dealers will no longer be selling new Suzukis and says it will provide full support for all of its cars in the U.S.

Could be, but before jumping to buy a Suzuki, consumers should check with owners of Peugeots, Alfa Romeos, Daewoos and other brands whose owners sailed away, leaving behind a support network that may have been adequate but was nowhere near as good as having full-fledged dealerships nearby.

There's also the little matter of resale value. Cars shed value like a cat sheds fur under the best of circumstances. Orphaned cars -- unless they are genuine collector items -- quickly become nearly worthless, the possible  exceptions being Saturns and Pontiacs, which are still fully supported by General Motors.

Is it possible Suzuki might change its mind? No way, say company executives, who insist that no further cars are being made to U.S. specifications.

Anyone just dying to own something with a Suzuki nameplate can still find motorcycles, boats and ATVs.