American Suzuki Expects 9.8% Sales Decrease for Fiscal Year

02/07/2012 @ 2:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

You know when a company starts quoting sales figures “in the last nine months of the year…” that the numbers from the first three months that they are not mentioning have to be pretty bad. Such is the case with American Suzuki, though the company’s overall performance continues to flounder in the this economy. In Suzuki’s fiscal nine-month period (April 2011 to December 2011), sales to North American dealers were up 160%, as wholesale unit sales to dealers rose from 13,000 units (mostly ATVs)  in 2010 to 34,000 units in 2011.

However despite shipping more models to dealers, Suzuki’s sales in North America were actually down 11.5%, as the Japanese company sold only 31,000 units in the nine-month period, compared to the 35,000 units it sold during the same fiscal period last year. Because of this dip in consumer sales, Suzuki has revised its sales predictions for the end of its fiscal year in North America from 50,000 units to 46,000 units. American Suzuki sold 51,000 units to consumers in 2010, meaning that for the 2011 fiscal year, Suzuki is expecting a 9.8% retail sales decline compared to last year.

Part of the reason for the increased shipments in 2011 to dealers despite the company’s continued tough retails sales is because of the virtual hold on shipments to dealers during the 2010 model year. Letting dealers clear out the backlog of Suzuki stock sitting on their showroom floors, Suzuki also delayed updating many of its models, which is surely accountable for its continued troubling sales progress. While potent machines in their own right, the mildly updated GSX-R600GSX-R750, & GSX-R1000 are going to have a tough time competing against the newer offerings from the other manufacturers.

While the rest of the motorcycle market appears to be bottoming out and even turning around, American Suzuki’s sales in the fourth quarter continued to plummet. Selling 7,000 units to consumers in Q4, American Suzuki retails sales were down 14% for the final quarter of the company’s fiscal calendar. There is no doubt that the recession hurt the Japanese manufacturers the most, an issue that was only compounded further by last year’s earthquake, nuclear fallout, and regional flooding. Hopefully 2012 has better fortune in store for the Japanese OEMs than 2011 did.

Source: Suzuki; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. Shaitan says:

    No surprise there. I’ve been a Suzuki fan in the past, but they are currently making some of the fugliest bikes/paintjobs on the market and their freeze on some model updates didn’t help in 2010. When you get people to look elsewhere you lose brand loyalty. I know times are tough and the bikes themselves are great products, but Suzuki’s marketing and attitude toward US buyers has seemed rather vague lately. Then again, that’s true of many Japanese manufacturers the last 2 years, so it’s no wonder Triumph, BMW and Ducati are doing well in the States.

  2. MikeD says:

    As it SHOULD…honestly…what’s there to make u buy their product over someone else’s ?
    STILL DRAGGING/UNLOADING OLD INVENTORY when some of the others (KAWASAKI comes to mind quick) still try and put new “fresher” products out ? YUP…keep it up Suzuki…darn shame the creators of so many ground breaking products has fallen so low.

    Hopefully 2012 will bring some news/xciting products from them…they really need it.

  3. M Myers says:

    To quote the article “While potent machines in their own right, the mildly updated GSX-R600, GSX-R750, & GSX-R1000 are going to have a tough time competing against the newer offerings from the other manufacturers”

    That’s interesting as I believe that the model change last year (2011) to the 600 and 750 were the only such changes (and we’re talking a major overhaul) made to any middle class Japanese bike of the last few years. Oh and how about said 600 winning our AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship as well as the Supersport Championship. Just trying to shed a bit of factoid with regards to what’s been winning races and championships on our shores. The new GSXR600 is a fantastic machine, Just ask my daughter Elena what she thinks, she’d be glad to tell you :)

    Go Suzuki!

  4. Jay K says:

    I think of the DRZ400SM, a design they could have, and should have, updated when times were good, but they didn’t. Now they don’t have a competitive bike and they don’t have any money for R&D.

  5. MikeD says:

    M Myers says:
    That’s interesting as I believe that the model change last year (2011) to the 600 and 750 were the only such changes (and we’re talking a major overhaul) made to any middle class Japanese bike of the last few years. Oh and how about said 600 winning our AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship as well as the Supersport Championship. Just trying to shed a bit of factoid with regards to what’s been winning races and championships on our shores.

    Ok. Fair enough…but did it worked out for them ? Aparently not. We(U.S.A) were far too SPOILED by themselves(OEMs) to just feel satisfied by some lite hardware changes and almost the same body shell.
    The bike can be a splendid dream to ride and what not(said the magz no too long ago)…but if it don’t call out to “Ricky Racer”(with no more easy credit) walking pass the dealership to go in and have a look at it then it has already lost round 1 of 2.
    It always comes to mind how they had a cool thing going on with the Stratosphere Concept and that never went beyond the MC Shows…for crying out loud! they even had a rolling Mule, there’s a video of it on YouTube.
    It still have me wondering how they never diversified themselves the way Kawi did…(0_O)?

    P.S: I own a Suzuki…and an old, outdated, overweight one at that…so no, no bias here.
    Their state is what it is…there’s no sugar coating a turd…it’ll still stink…so far anyways.

  6. KeithF says:

    I’m very happy with my 2011 GSX-R600, but I must admit the design is not the best in class. Looks are very subjective. In particular, I don’t like the headlights and swingarm.

    Fortunately, I didn’t make my purchase decision solely on how the bike looked. I liked the the fact it was newly redesigned and had great reviews. I don’t have any regrets…it’s performance, braking, and handling are fantastic. Secretly I desire the new MV Agusta F3…can’t wait to see it in person.

  7. MikeD says:

    This guy up there ^… one informed, secure of his manhood, smart, humble costumer…Suzuki could use many just like him. lol.

  8. Steve says:

    M Myers…

    It’s pretty simple really. If you are good like Suzuki is and your daughter is… but you find yourself struggeling to be at the front and win (or sell motorcycles) on a consistent basis, you figure out a way to get there. You go to the gym. You practice more. You get faster You find out what others are doing with success and you get to the front. You don’t sit on your laurels and wine about it.

    Let’s take Eslick as an example. As far as Eslick winning the championship on a Suzuki, he won because he has a good bike, great team and is a talented, tough, fast as hell, never give up young man, not because he rode a Suzuki. Luck didn’t hurt him either. I would like to see your daughter do nothing but succeed but as far as asking your daughter anything about her Suzuki…I think I’ll pass. Besides, I see she has busy at the gym. Good for her! and best of luck at Daytona and the new season.

  9. Scooter says:

    It is no wonder there sales are down. Suzuki has one of the worst warranties in the world. It is like pulling teeth to get warranty service as they pull every trick in the book to avoid you. No model updates in years and they expect to sell units. The local Suzuki dealer here is also a Harley dealer and they prefer to sell to guys in the pirate outfits so they ignore a Suzuki customer.

  10. Damo says:

    I wouldn’t mind it, as long as they cut prices to make them more competitive. The problem is their models ARE NOT being updated, yet their prices are.

    That is the issue.

  11. B.T. says:

    Sad to say, but I think the end is near for Suzuki! You always have to blame Mngmt. I bike in Supercross, none in MOTOGP!! Suzuki! You broke my heart!!

  12. AK says:

    I never saw anyone buying brand new Suzuki in past 5 years. Most of people buy used cause they are cheap(at least in Indy). Pretty much every African American dude owns a Suzuki; not throwing a race card. I don’t really know what else to say about it.

  13. AC says:

    I’m a Duc guy but the ’11 GSX-R600 I rode was a great middleweight bike. Not terribly expensive, either. Just an attractive little package.

    Rather than charging ahead, Suzuki seems to be battening down the hatches which is actually hurting them more.

    The Japanese brands in general need to do a better job of injecting some heritage into their brands. There’s a reason you see so many Duc and Triumph guys buying the bikes, then the apparel…it’s similar to buying an Apple product in so many ways. People want products that make them feel cool. The Japanese brands don’t do this well even though their product is fine.

  14. KeithF says:

    @AC – I agree, Ducati has done an excellent job at building their brand image.

  15. First, I’m a BIG Elena Myers fan, I wish her (and her dad) all the best, was a real hoot she got to ride the GSV/R at Indy, you GO girl ! And please, Mr, Myers, DON’T let her cheapen her image (ala Danica) by cozying up to a sleazy ad campaign just for the money/sponsorship!!

    Suzi is a real conundrum . . . completely pulling the plug for 2010, replacing the SV650, not replacing it, or replacing it with that idiot Gladius. The Hayabusa is getting gray hair. The GSX/R’s are terrific, but the days when dealers could sell all they could get are over. The new VStrom isn’t the addressing of the updates the old one needed.

    All of the Japanese manufacturers, save Kawasaki, are reeling from the recession, the earthquake, and the weight of their other businesses. Suzi has closed close to a 100 auto dealerships in the US. Yamaha lost over a billion dollars just a few years ago. Honda was particularly rocked by the Japanese disaster, then to have their Thai production flooded out a year ago. Only Kawi, for who motorcycles are almost a boutique business alongside their large capital industries, seem to have a bead on where they’re going, and good on them for continuing to support the 250 and 650 Ninjas.

    I have no doubt they’ll regain their footing, but it’s been breathtaking to watch. They’re all going to have to find their way, and the usual menu of supersports and Harley clones and cheap dirtbikes just isn’t going to be a viable business model into the future. Here’s to seeing what develops!