Suzuki pulling vehicle division out of Canada after 2014 model year

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Canadian fans of all things automotive have reason to feel a bit down today, as Suzuki Canada Inc. (SCI) has just announced it will no longer be selling its lineup of cars and SUVs in Canada.

The move follows a similar action taken by the automaker's U.S. division, American Suzuki Motor Corporation last November when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and also announced an end to new vehicle sales. At this time SCI promised Canadians that its operations would not cease north of the 49th, and therefore Canadian consumers felt confident buying its products. Now the automaker has announced it will pull out of Canada after the 2014 model year.  

Suzuki entered the Canadian automotive market with the tiny Jeep-like LJ series in the fall of 1980. It was soon followed by the SJ and then the wildly popular Samurai, which helped grow its market share to the point that Suzuki became a household automotive name. In 1984 Suzuki began to sell cars as well as SUVs with the introduction of the compact Forsa, and SUV sales really took off in 1988 with the introduction of the much more upscale Sidekick, a vehicle built in cooperation with General Motors at a joint plant (CAMI) in Ingersoll, Ontario; Suzuki sold its stake in CAMI to GM in 2009.

Within the last decade through another partnership with General Motors' South Korean Daewoo division (GMDAT), Suzuki sold quite a large line of cars, SUVs and crossovers. Now, however, its lineup consists of only five models, three of which (the SX4 sedan, SX4 hatchback and SX4 crossover) are in actuality the same vehicle in different states of trim.

Just the same the SX4 was popular when first introduced, although it was never significantly updated; critical in today's hotly contested small vehicle market. The top-line Kizashi has been lauded by auto industry pundits as a good performing, well-made midsize sedan offering excellent value, but it's fighting it out in a market dominated by big sellers like Honda's Accord, Toyota's Camry, Ford's Fusion and the list goes on and on, while the Grand Vitara SUV continues to soldier on without redesign for longer than any of its peers. Just the same it remains the only compact mainstream SUV with off-road capability.

Important to consumers, SCI will honour all warranties for their duration, and continue to supply parts and service for its many Suzuki customers. Concerned owners can get warranty information on the automaker's website as well as any service updates.

Also important, Suzuki's many motorcycle, scooter, ATV and marine outboard engine customers will not be affected by the loss of its automotive division. All non-automotive business will continue forward unaffected.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hatchback, Sedan, SUV, Suzuki, 2013, Grand Vitara, SX4, Kizashi, Compact, Midsize,

Geographic location: Canada

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