Suzuki Demand Rises After Bankruptcy Announcement

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We’ll take shameless credit. Following Suzuki's bankruptcy announcement of its U.S. arm, shoppers are responding to our endorsement of the nimble Kizashi. Or maybe all that Christmas eggnog is going to our heads. Still, Bloomberg News reports Suzuki is sending around 2,500 more cars here to meet demand, which surged after the Nov. 5 announcement. Sales in November increased 22.1%, and Suzuki dealers report strong December figures, too.

But it's too little, too late. Suzuki restructuring officer M. Freddie Reiss told Bloomberg the automaker will sell only about 22,000 cars in the U.S. this year. Seven in 10 Suzuki dealers sell fewer than five cars a month. Compare that to 2006 and 2007, when a slate of small cars plus the Chevrolet Equinox-related XL7 helped the automaker break 100,000 units.

Cars.com currently has just 1,994 Suzukis in stock — a dwindling figure for a carmaker that sold 23,412 cars through November. By comparison, Scion sold nearly as many tC coupes this year, and Cars.com has 3,995 examples in new-car inventory.

By Kelsey Mays | December 21, 2012 | Comments (0)

Honda Shines, Toyota Falls in Latest IIHS Crash Tests

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The 2013 Toyota Camry sedan and Prius v hybrid (above, right) failed a new crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that simulates a frontal impact overlapping a small portion of the car — say, piling into a tree from your left headlight. IIHS announced today its test of 18 model-year 2013 family cars. It's the largest yet for the so-called "small overlap" frontal test that many luxury brands failed in August 2012.

At the other end, the Honda Accord sedan and nearly-defunct Suzuki Kizashi (above, left) earned IIHS' top score, Good; 11 other cars — including the Accord coupe — earned Acceptable ratings. The IIHS rates cars Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. Of the 18 cars tested, the Toyotas scored Poor, but the Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Jetta sedan scored Marginal.

By Kelsey Mays | December 19, 2012 | Comments (7)

2013 Suzuki Kizashi: Get to Know it Before it's Gone

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The Suzuki Kizashi isn't the most familiar name when talking family cars. Like most, I'd never even heard of a Kizashi, and I was expecting a cheaply made budget car that's similar to an off-brand DVD player you'd find at a big discount store.

After test-driving the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi, I found it's a well-equipped midsize sedan that delivers a comfortable ride and modern conveniences at a lower price than many of its competitors. Now that Suzuki's U.S. operation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, this is the time to find a deal making the Kizashi's price even more of a family-friendly feature.

With a base price of $20,794, including a $795 destination charge, the Kizashi is nearly $1,700 less than a 2013 Honda Accord ($22,470) or 2013 Nissan Altima ($22,490), and it's $2,056 less than a 2013 Toyota Camry ($22,850).

By Carrie Kim | November 16, 2012 | Comments (7)

Should You Buy a New Suzuki?

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If you've checked out our story on What You Need to Know about the Suzuki bankruptcy, you might consider buying a new Suzuki if the deal is right.

Below, we break down what we like and what we don't about each of the four Suzuki models still on sale in the U.S., as well as links to recent coverage about each one. No Suzuki models are rated as Best Bets by Cars.com.

We also list how many are in our national inventory as of this writing. Here's a tip: There aren't many, so depending on where you live, a new Suzuki might not be an option for you.

By David Thomas | November 6, 2012 | Comments (5)

Suzuki Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

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Suzuki filed for bankruptcy Monday, officially eliminating its automotive arm in the U.S.

That leaves current and potential owners with a lot of questions. We answer the most significant ones below, but if you have a question, please ask it in the comments below or email us at editor@cars.com.

Will my warranty still be honored?
Yes, Suzuki says all currently valid warranties will be honored. If you buy a new Suzuki today going forward, the existing new-car warranty will be included.

Many may remember that when Saab was finally liquidated, it stopped honoring warranties for cars bought during the period after its GM ownership when a Swedish firm was operating it. Suzuki’s bankruptcy will allow for continued warranty service in line with how GM still services the Saabs sold under its ownership.

By David Thomas | November 6, 2012 | Comments (27)

Suzuki Files Bankruptcy, Stops Selling Cars in U.S.

Suzuki filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in California today for its U.S. automobile operations. American Suzuki Motor Corporation will stop marketing and selling cars in the U.S. while focusing on its motorcycle, ATV and marine portfolios.

Suzuki Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

Suzuki will continue to honor its warranties and its current dealer network will largely be transitioned to parts and service only.

This news is not a great surprise to those following the industry. The company sold just 2,023 cars in October. Mitsubishi — another struggling Japanese automaker — sold 3,981 units in October. Mazda — the next closest Japanese automaker — sold a more robust 18,622 cars in October.

We'll have more information for owners and perspective buyers of the remaining new Suzuki models on dealer lots tomorrow.

By David Thomas | November 5, 2012 | Comments (18)

Cars.com Reviews the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi

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The Suzuki Kizashi may be a no-name car in a sea of household-name midsize sedans, but it shouldn't be overlooked, says Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger. If the Suzuki's stylish good looks, sporty handling and high-quality interior aren't enough to turn heads, its budget-friendly pricing should.

2012 Suzuki Kizashi Review

By Jennifer Geiger | September 26, 2012 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks

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Good products usually sell themselves … but not always. We've assembled here a list of cars and trucks that should be more popular than they are. In some cases the sales figures aren't bad, but in none of the cases below do the sales match our assessment of the cars' relevance or excellence. That usually means car shoppers can find a bit of a deal, too. Here are our Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks in no particular order.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | May 7, 2012 | Comments (21)

Daily News Briefs: April 16, 2012

2013 Ford Escape

Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • In a bid to restructure its business in the U.S., Suzuki has steadily cut costs for the sake of short-term profitability, according to insiders who spoke with Automotive News. The Japanese carmaker skipped the Detroit and L.A. auto shows this season and has eliminated social media activity on Facebook and Twitter, says Auto News. Suzuki also canceled its J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction data subscription, which is used to track how dealerships are performing with buyers. The automaker cut 32 dealerships last year and has previously offered buyouts to underperforming dealerships to have them stop selling vehicles. The brand currently has 246 dealers, but about 150 of those are poor performers, according to the trade journal. The freshest Suzuki model is the Kizashi, which went on sale in 2009; Auto News says the carmaker is preparing to launch a modestly updated SX4 and Grand Vitara sometime this year for the U.S.
  • Ford says it already has 8,000 orders for its redesigned 2013 Ford Escape, according to The Detroit Free Press. The compact crossover goes on sale in May with a starting price of $22,470, excluding a destination fee of $825. Half the orders Ford has received are for the SEL and Titanium trims, which start at $27,870 and $30,370 respectively. Ford hasn't announced fuel-economy figures for the new Escape, which now features three four-cylinder options but no hybrid option.
  • GM's share of the U.S. market continues to decline despite a robust lineup of recently redesigned vehicles and climbing sales, according to The Detroit News. GM's U.S. market share for the first three months of 2012 stood at 17.5%, down from a 19.6% average in 2011, according to the Detroit paper. More than 10 years ago, GM had a market share of 28.1%. The latest figures represent GM's lowest share levels since 1922, but the automaker expects new vehicles like the Cadillac XTS, Cadillac ATS and Buick Verano to bolster sales in the coming months.
By Colin Bird | April 16, 2012 | Comments (0)

Kizashi Goes Sledding in Suzuki's Super Bowl Ad

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Remember Suzuki's all-wheel-drive midsize sedan? Looking at Kizashi's sales numbers, not too many people do. Though Suzuki's 2011 U.S. sales were up 11 percent, it sold only 6,942 Kizashi sedans last year. The automaker is spending big bucks on a Super Bowl ad to jog our memories. Kizashi is the star of its 2012 spot, the second consecutive year Suzuki has made a Super Bowl ad.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 27, 2012 | Comments (2)

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