Suzuki's sales in the United States have been at historically high levels the last two years. Both 2006 and 2007 saw American Suzuki Motor Corporation move more than 100,000 units – a big feat for a little brand in the U.S during these tough economic times. Despite that seemingly good news, Rick Suzuki, president of ASMC, has called the performance dismal and is stepping down in an act of seppuku
. The record performance is looked upon so unfavorably because it falls far short of goals laid out by Suzuki in 2003 as part of a five-year plan to eventually sell 200,000 automobiles. Financially, ASMC is taking losses, so Suzuki has put into place a buyout plan that is expected to aid in trimming 55 jobs out of its 674-strong U.S. workforce. Employees who do stay on can expect no bonus or raise this year.
Perhaps Suzuki was caught up in irrational exuberance back in 2003 and set some overly-ambitious targets. Its automotive product line has a certain appeal, and the unveiling of the Kizashi 3
at the New York Auto Show
has us excited for what's soon to come from Suzuki. Here's hoping the brand doesn't go the way of Isuzu
in the U.S.
[Source: Automotive News
, sub. req'd]