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Old 02-12-2010, 03:38 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Suzuki in the U.S. to Stay, Maker Insists

Maker vows to press on despite weakening volume



Quote:
Contrary to speculation floating around the industry, Suzuki has no plans to stop selling cars and sport utility vehicle in the United States, senior officials are vowing.
During a press conference at the Chicago Auto Show, Suzuki Vice President Gene Brown emphasized that, “We’re here to stay.” Questions about its long-term commitment to the market have been raised a number of times, in recent years, and surfaced, again, after General Motors bought out Suzuki’s stake in the CAMMI joint venture Suzuki helped set up, in Ingersoll, Ontario.

With demand for its own products going, while Suzuki struggles to gain traction here, GM was eager to take over the plant to build its newest crossover vehicles. But Suzuki is looking for ways to kick-start its own sales in the U.S., one of the few global markets where it doesn’t have a strong presence.

Brown said Suzuki will soon launch a new advertising campaign to show off the Kizashi, a well-reviewed sedan that the Japanese maker believes can will help elevate its profile in the States. Suzuki, with sales of less than 100,000 units, is one of the smallest carmakers operating in the U.S. and has had difficulty breaking through the media clutter than surrounds the troubled but highly competitive American auto market.

Brown said that Suzuki wants to shift the brand’s image, putting less emphasis on the value message that has characterized the company’s approach to the U.S. market, over the past 25 years. Going forward, Suzuki will emphasize a sportier message that ties back to Suzuki’s other products, such as motorcycles, ATVs and marine products, which already appeal to younger more active buyers.
The sporty look of the midsize Kizashi and the compact SRX, as well as the Grand Vitara SUV, all fit well into that new marketing strategy.

Brown noted that Suzuki is a far more successful company in other parts of the world. It has more than 40% of the booming market in India and it also makes the single best-selling car in Japan. Suzuki has recently entered into a new alliance with Volkswagen AG, giving it access to much-needed diesel powertrains, Brown noted.

Moreover, while Suzuki was hit by the recession, it was, on a global basis, still profitable in 2009. But with the U.S. continuing to be a resource drain, it’s not clear whether Brown’s comments, at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, will satisfy all the skeptics
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
Maker vows to press on despite weakening volume
I hope they can make a go of it here. I've driven a couple of new Kizashis, and they are very impressive; same with the Grand Vitara and SX4.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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Better marketing would help with Kizashi sales. They do have a quality product, now let people know.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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If they sold a turbodiesel samuri here again their marketshare might come up. Compact real 4x4 with modern power and mpg? Smaller than a jeep, so you can use it in urban environments too. Could be a hot seller. The origional one was killed off by a biased Consumer Reports campain against them. Anyone who's taken an old samuri in the woods knows how good a car they were.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WoodsWagon View Post
If they sold a turbodiesel samuri here again their marketshare might come up. Compact real 4x4 with modern power and mpg? Smaller than a jeep, so you can use it in urban environments too. Could be a hot seller. The origional one was killed off by a biased Consumer Reports campain against them. Anyone who's taken an old samuri in the woods knows how good a car they were.
Until they tipped forward onto their windshield and roof under heavy braking.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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How about names that American buyers will understand. Reading something on the internet and walking into the dealership having no idea how to say what you want....a great sales idea.

Seriously..change your names and begin to change your image.

They have yet to find their nitch in their many years here.

Are they going for a "goofy" one off crowd? Going to be a cheap luxo brand? Going to be a Honda?

Who knows.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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When Subaru got out of WRC, Suzuki should have gotten in. They need to play up to their motorcycle/ATV/off-road reputation, but way more so then they are now. Kizashi is nice, but it's not focused enough - it's not sporty enough, or luxurious enough, but it's a little of both.

Suzuki can't go luxury cause they'll lose; they need to go sporty, power, and off road. They need to come up with their WRX - something that, when it first came to the US, blew everything else out of the water. Right now they're coming in at "pretty good" when they need "no comparison"...so good, that you'd be an idiot to buy anything else in it's class. Something so good that buying something else would only prove that you're a brand snob.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbot5000 View Post
When Subaru got out of WRC, Suzuki should have gotten in. They need to play up to their motorcycle/ATV/off-road reputation, but way more so then they are now. Kizashi is nice, but it's not focused enough - it's not sporty enough, or luxurious enough, but it's a little of both.

Suzuki can't go luxury cause they'll lose; they need to go sporty, power, and off road. They need to come up with their WRX - something that, when it first came to the US, blew everything else out of the water. Right now they're coming in at "pretty good" when they need "no comparison"...so good, that you'd be an idiot to buy anything else in it's class. Something so good that buying something else would only prove that you're a brand snob.
Bingo. The Kizashi should have been what the WRX was for Subaru. Too bad they failed to leverage the halo surrounding their sportbikes.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:02 PM   #9
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Suzuki one word....SWIFT

Bring it NOW!
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by darknightohio View Post
Suzuki one word....SWIFT

Bring it NOW!
^^This
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:07 AM   #11
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Indeed Swift, thats affordable, w great MPG, and sporty handling could put some competiton for the Fit, Versa, and Yaris.

http://www.suzuki.co.jp/car/swift_xg_c_selection_aero/
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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Default Suzuki splits new sedan's marketing budget with dealers Read more: http://www.autone

Suzuki splits new sedan's marketing budget with dealers






Quote:
RLANDO, Fla. -- Realizing it can't compete against bigger rivals in the mid-sized sedan segment, Suzuki will steer half of this year's $30 million marketing budget for the new Kizashi sedan to U.S. dealers, said Kevin Saito, president of American Suzuki Motor Corp.

"The budget for a national launch just wasn't there, and Suzuki listened to the dealer advisory board about redistributing the marketing funds," said Scott Pitman, president of Suzuki of Wichita in Kansas.

The cars have begun arriving in showrooms as the company tries to shake last year's 54 percent U.S. sales plunge, more than double the industry's decline. This year started on a harsher note, as Suzuki dropped 44 percent in January while the market rose 6 percent.

Greg Chaney, of Chacon Suzuki in Dallas and New Braunfels, Texas, said, "On a per-car basis, the spend is significant, but we're selling against manufacturers who sell five and 10 times as many cars as we do. We have to make every dollar count. Each dealer can use the funds as he sees fit, whether it's TV, radio or print."

As for national advertising, Suzuki will have two ads -- a traditional car-launch ad and one focusing on the car's available all-wheel-drive capability, said Koichi Suzuki, American Suzuki executive vice president.

The executives and dealers spoke after the company's annual make meeting at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here.

The company hopes its dealers initially sell 1,000 Kizashis monthly and expand that 2,500 within a year. If Suzuki can generate 5,000 Kizashis a month in global volume, it will consider building either a hybrid or V-6 derivative. After that, using the Kizashi platform for other vehicles, such as replacing the departed XL-7 crossover, could be an option. The Kizashi is built in a new plant in Japan with a 250,000-unit annual capacity.

James Morrell, president of Advantage Suzuki in Albany, N.Y., said Suzuki's recent rebound in residual values allows dealers to re-enter the leasing market, which in Morrell's case represented 60 percent of his sales.

Suzuki plans to have a 48-month lease on the Kizashi for about $2,000 out-of-pocket and $219 a month, Koichi Suzuki said.

Still, having a memorable product name helps. Some dealers are still baffled by the naming choice for the sedan, which the company claims means, "Something great is coming."

Morrell joked, "I still can't pronounce it, but I like it."

But the approval wasn't universal. As one dealer muttered to another as they left the make meeting, "Kizashi? Kizashi? Whatever the hell that is."

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