When news came that American Suzuki Motor Corporation was to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the news was pitched that it would benefit the company’s motorcycle interests, as Suzuki would no longer be tied-down with its ailing automotive division in the USA, and instead would be left to focus on its powersports offerings.
While that general statement may remain true, Powersports Business has learned that the Japanese OEM plans on closing 100 to 200 of its roughly 930 powersports dealerships. This would mean a roughly 10% to 20% reduction in Suzuki dealerships nationwide — a decision that has more than a few dealers feeling a bitter taste in their mouths.
The move is perhaps less surprising though, as American Suzuki — now called Suzuki Motor of America — is drastically restructuring its business, not just to exist without its automotive lines, but also on a more fundamental basis.
Hit hard by the recession, Suzuki has been slow to rebuild its business back here in the United States, which is worrisome considering that the American motorcycle industry has recovered to a greater extent than markets like Europe and Japan.
For the average Suzuki owner, the reduction in dealerships is probably still a good sign though, as it is likely that Suzuki is getting rid of its poorer performing dealerships, and consolidating dealer positions in previously over-saturated local markets.
For some dealers though, the loss of the Suzuki brand could put their business operations in precarious positions — a sign at how fragile the current state of affairs are for powersports dealers and the industry as a whole. Is a dealer near you getting the axe? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Powersports Business