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Suzuki's US Future -- Good or Dismal

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  • des5des5 Posts: 88
    I too was considering a Kizashi at one time, but the lack of dealers and no manual models to be had put me off. With Saab, at least there is a decent junkyard stock to draw from if you have to. Imagine trying to get parts for your CVT 5+ years from now.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,958
    edited November 2012
    Maybe, but Daewoo owners still seem to be able to find most parts they need.

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  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    Something that no one thinks about when buying an car from an orphaned brand is INSURANCE! If I wasn't an insurance agent, I wouldn't give it a second thought!

    I'm an independent agent and I represent seven companies that offer Personal Auto coverage. Two of them have increased premiums substantially for Comp & Collision on all Saab vehicles...as in 200% or more in some cases! All of our companies have increased their rates somewhat on Saabs, but only 25-30% on average, so far...the same is true for most Saturn and Pontiac models.

    Some companies also stopped offering GAP coverage six months before the official 'end'. GAP basically covers the difference when a car depreciates faster than the loan balance decreases. When it was fairly obvious that the end was near for Saab, it became impossible to predict their rate of depreciation.

    I'm sure the same will happen to Suzukis, to some extent. On the bright side, at least it only affects the Comp, Collision and Uninsured Motorist rates; Liability and Medical coverage remains the same.

    I have insured a few 2010-2011 Saabs in the last six months or so. The one that stands out in my mind as being BRUTAL was on a 2011 Saab 9-5 (new design). It had a $48k sticker price but the guy had only paid $23k for it. But when replaced his prior vehicle with the Saab 9-5 on his existing policy, it was going to cost $4920 per year to cover it! Just for comparison, I replaced the 2011 Saab 9-5 with a 2011 Volvo S80- only $2100 per year ($2800+ less than the Saab)! We finally got it down to about $3400 per year, but had to increase his deductibles to $2,500 to do that! That is the only time I've ever issued a policy with a deductible over $1,000....that really sucked for him and I felt really horrible for him. He had already withdrawn $20k from an investment account to buy it because he couldn't find a bank that would even loan on a Saab!

    Moral of the story- before you buy a Suzuki, call your insurance agent for a quick quote!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Well, you're right, in my case I probably wouldn't have thought about the insurance impact on a discontinued brand. However, I routinely inquire about the insurance rate before I buy a car, so that regardless of whether it's a discontinued brand or model, or not, I factor the insurance cost into my buying decision. Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention, though.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    edited November 2012
    why is this guy's insurance costing him $3400 per year? That's nuts!

    I pay only $860 in northern Idaho a year to GEICO for my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS to be insured. Don't ask me my limits, I get pretty much full coverage, high limits (have ta check my policy to get the exact limits and deductibles), everything agreeable and reasonable to me. $72.47 a month!

    Why is this guy's insurance so expensive? Cost of the new Saab's? But we're talkin' Saab's here, let's keep grounded and in reality here. Is my GEICO gecko, Warren Buffett and Goverment Insurance Co. treating me that fair?

    And the fact that I drive carefully like a Grandpa doesn't hurt, no tickets since 1982 and all, yes? Wow, that is really an eye-opener for what some people are up against for car insurance, yikees and spikees.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    "why is this guy's insurance costing him $3400 per year? That's nuts!"

    That was the worst extreme I've seen, but that particular insurer almost tripled their rates on late model Saabs out of concern for parts availability and cost. There were so few 2010 and 2011 Saab 9-5 cars made that body parts very likely may be scarce and could cost hundreds or thousands more than they typically would have.

    Like I mentioned, I plugged in 2011 Volvo S80 in place of the 2011 Saab 9-5 and it dropped the rate from $4,920 to $2,100 per year. Both $50k Swedish full-size luxury sedans, but the one that's out of production costs more than double that of the one still in production (the S80).

    The only way reduced it from $4,920 to $3,400 ($1,520 less) was by making his Comprehensive and Collision Deductibles $2,500 each! Needless to say, he deeply regretted purchasing that car prior to getting a quote on adding it to his auto policy.

    I normally would have moved a customer in his situation to one of the other insurers that I represent who didn't increase their rates on Saab vehicles so much. But this company is the only one who will allow him to exclude his 20-year step-son from the policy even though he lives in the same home. If the step-son had to be added to this policy, this particular carrier would cancel the policy altogether. But they let him be excluded as long as the parents sign a waiver saying he doesn't drive their vehicles and that their insurer would not cover an accident if the step-son was driving one of their vehicles.

    Otherwise, I would have to put the entire auto policy with a non-standard (high-risk) company and two 4wd GMC pickups, a Lexus GX470 SUV and the Saab 9-5 would cost over $12k per year to insure....thanks to step-dude's suspended license and DUIs!

    So this guy was screwed.

    I live in semi-rural North Georgia, drive a 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door, 37, male and divorced and I have higher limits of liability than 99% of drivers (500k/500k/100k) and Uninsured Motorist for 500/500/25. My Comprehensive deductible is $100, Collision is $500 deductible, I have $30/day rental car coverage, $100/occurence Roadside Assistance/Towing and even $1000 in complementary Pet Injury Insurance (crazy, but true). I pay $594.87/year for my policy! But I also get a discount of almost 45% because I represent this insurer along with several others.
  • with new suzukis selling for low to mid teens new it won't take much for an insurer to just total the vehicle - the hard part will be establishing a fair value
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,119
    The Suzuki dealer on Roosevelt Blvd. and Red Lion in NE Philly is rapidly becoming a Kia dealer. There are few Suzuki vehicles on the lot and even the Suzuki sign is looking forlorn as weeds sprout up along its base.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,958
    edited December 2012
    "American Suzuki Motor Corp., the U.S. distributor of Suzuki cars and motorcycles, will import about 2,500 more autos to meet demand that jumped after the company filed for bankruptcy with plans to end U.S. sales."

    Demand for American Suzuki autos rises after bankruptcy (Detroit News)

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  • carthellcarthell Posts: 124
    I wonder who's driving the sales? Fans? Bargain-hunters? The bankruptcy announcement itself might be Suzuki USA's largest marketing push since this year's Superbowl. (That's a crying shame!)

    My Aerio is on its last legs, and it is unfortunate that Suzuki doesn't have a suitable replacement (Kizashi wagon!!). I'm moving on.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I thought American Suzuki was bankrupt with the intent to liquidate? A company in the process of liquidation is importing an additional 2500 cars to sell?!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    Yes, I read the same thing. They announced bankrupcy, and had a 22% sales increase over last year, (for that month), I think it was November. BUT they stated they still are leaving. I really wish they at least tried. Not to make a good car, because they do, but at least tried with advertising and really getting into the public eye. They only had what 4 models? All they needed was just a couple more......more than 5 dealers would have helped as well.
    I think daily how I missed out on an sx4 Crossover.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited January 2013
    I had a soft spot for them too, but you could see they were doomed from a long time ago.

    I drove an SX4 - it had the neat thing where you could switch from AWD to FWD to save gas. It was a nice little car, but at the time the Subaru Impreza had another 25 hp and an arguably better AWD system for about the same money. The only edge Suzuki had in that race was a couple of MPG in the EPA rating.

    Maybe one day Suzuki will be back - look at Fiat, gone for 20 years, turned their fortunes around at home, and now they are back in the States!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bwaabwaa Posts: 13
    I can't stop laughing at your subject...crying now
  • bwaabwaa Posts: 13
    this is true...Fiats are all over the road these days!
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    PRESS DIGEST-Canada-March 27/2013 (Thomson Reuters)
    "Suzuki Canada Inc will end its 30-year run of selling vehicles in Canada next year, the final withdrawal of Suzuki Motor Corp from markets it once thought so important that it manufactured vehicles here."

    So Cda too loses the Kizashi.
    Thanks Consumer Reports, for starting the first nail in their coffin. :total sarcasm:

    But Suzuki needs to certainly own a lot of responsibility for this position they have found themselves in over here. When they can't produce a V6 4WD SUV (the not very Grand Vitara) that couldn't even match the FE of a 1000 lb heavier, 1.3 litre larger V6 AWD minivan (the marginally more Grand Caravan) that holds 3- 4 more passengers, then they really should have realized that they needed to step-up their game. And that went on for years, so is it any wonder? Hell..even the Koreans were getting better FE back in the day, and when you go back even 10 years, the Koreans couldn't come close to the Japanese FE figures. At least the small FWD'rs got competitive FE numbers, but their cars weren't really idiot proofed very well and were cheaply made in some areas...considering they were Japanese. I can't speak for what is available in Japan where they are still super popular, but here in NA, they never really kept up to the speed of technological progress here...Kizashi being too little (poor option pkg choices with too limited powertrain options) too late..

    Suzuki should have brought to market a turbo diesel SUV 15 years ago when NO ONE else was offering one. Their gas guzzling Grd Vitara could have sustained them to this day had it had a totally doable 40 mpg diesel in it..
  • carthellcarthell Posts: 124
    edited March 2013
    I read a story another web site where a reporter interviewed the VP of auto sales & marketing, Bill Porter of Suzuki Canada, late last year. When the reporter asked about ASMC's bankruptcy effects on Canada's operation, he did not know. He asserted that Suzuki Canada's position was strong, and they're committed to supporting their customers. He could not give any information about Suzuki's future Canadian products, or give any hints about the strategies that they might use to stay in the market. I guess we now know why.

    Kaboom.

    I speculate that the bankruptcy of ASMC put Canada's operation at risk, regardless of what Mr. Porter said. Suzuki was too small to survive in north America.
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