• Nov 17, 2008
General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner mentioned last week that, in addition to selling the HUMMER brand, other assets were being evaluated for sale, as well. While no other brands are likely to be sold off besides HUMMER, GM did announce this morning that it's selling all of its remaining stock in Suzuki. GM owns 16,413,000 Suzuki shares, which is about 3% of the Japanese automaker's traded stock. The value of the sale is estimated at $230 million, all of which should help keep the lights on at GM for an extra day or two if some form of government aid isn't approved this week by Congress.

Despite selling off its remaining interest in Suzuki, GM is still very much interested in continuing the two automakers' working relationship and may end up repurchasing a stake in the future. The giant American carmaker's interest in its Japanese competitor has fluctuated over the years, peaking in 2001 when it held over 20 before today's unloading of the remaining 3%.

[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

GM Sells Equity Stake in Suzuki Motor Corp.

Detroit – General Motors Corp. announced today it would sell its remaining equity stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. but based on a mutual agreement would continue the implementation and expansion of its business relationships with the company.

GM plans to sell 16,413,000 Suzuki shares, which is equal to 3 percent of Suzuki's total issued common stock, on the open market. Based on today's market price, the shares are worth approximately $230 million.

GM has held an equity stake in Suzuki since 1981, when it purchased approximately 5.3 percent of the Suzuki shares outstanding. GM's stake was diluted to 3.5 percent in subsequent years, but in 1998 GM increased its holding in Suzuki to 10 percent, and to slightly over 20 percent in 2001. In 2006, GM sold a 17.4 percent stake in Suzuki.

Suzuki and GM will continue promoting and implementing their existing projects, including development and collaboration on advanced technologies such as hybrids and fuel cells; joint operation of their CAMI vehicle manufacturing joint venture in Canada; collaboration on the development of powertrains; the cross-supply of OEM vehicles; joint global purchasing activities; and collaboration on entries in new emerging markets.

"We highly value our strategic relationship with Suzuki," said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer. "Despite the sale of our remaining Suzuki shares, this action will have no impact on our existing bilateral business relationships. We look forward to continue building on our success to date with our long-term partner."

Suzuki and GM also agreed that they would discuss the repurchase of Suzuki shares by GM, should GM express its desire to do so at a future date.


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  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not that this sale is going to have much of an effect, but maybe it's a start. They need to sell sell sell. Whatever they can.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say its a good thing. Suzuki hasn't been a profitable partner, and GM isn't making any money there, especially with the way NA operations are going...

      I say put your money in your own company and your own operations, and fail to see why removing investments from competitors is viewed as a bad thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Run Suzuki!!! Run!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're gonna run right into Nissan's arms.

        If the Suzuki Equator is any indication anyway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Things are looking worse and worse by the day...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seems like a smart decision. They don't need 3% ownership in Suzuki, that is worthless. GM already has Daewoo.
      • 6 Years Ago

      The Suzuki Swift would have made a great small car for GM in the US. They could have badged it as a Chevy and it might have attracted small car buyers who normally bought the Fit or Yaris. I guess it is too late now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks, Kitco, I am aware of the differences between the Swift and the Swift+.

        I just wanted to point out the 2nd and 3rd generation Suzuki Swift was available for purchase in North America as a GM badged product (Geo Metro, Chevy Metro, Pontiac Firefly) from 1989 until 2001. The Metro/ Swift was considered the greenest gasoline-powered car for sale in the US in 1998 and 1999.

        Too many fingers have been pointed at GM, accusing them of ignoring the small econo-car market, when they did (and still do) offer a great little car. The transition to the Daewoo-based Aveo/G3 makes sense, since GM also sells the European competitor to the European Swift here in the US. The Opel Corsa is sold domestically as the Saturn Astra.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Whoops. The Opel Astra is sold as the Saturn Astra.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ah Geo Metro (Chevy Swift), you were so far ahead of your time...

        Although the Chevy Aveo is really a rebadged Daewoo, so is the (Canadian) Suzuki Swift+. So you can buy a small Suzuki, currently on the market badged as a Chevy!

        Buyers, step right up...
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Mike,

      Actually, your comment is no longer true. Suzuki
      no longer needs GM/Daewoo. Suzuki stopped selling
      re-badge Daewoos about 2 years(for the US market) ago and rumor has it that they will dump the XL-7(joint project with GM and maybe Grand Vitra (Japanese made) for a more economical Crossover that will be the size of a Nissan Rogue.
      Suzuki still needs a major push, but not from GM, maybe some other non- US or Korean car company will help them here, but I think the SX4 seems to be doing OK.

      • 6 Years Ago
      YES!!! This is great news!

      I can't believe the General still has any stake in Suzuki. Please get rid of it NOW!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      it's like you owe twice your annual income on credit cards and you try to make some extra cash by selling a microwave...
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you didn't need the microwave, and you could use the money from that microwave to give one of your broken down cars the parts needed to get back on the road, you wouldn't sell it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "it that is not enough. GM is unwilling to take other drastic measures..."

        It is not enough, so don't do anything?

        Again, I fail to see why this is being considered by so many to be a bad thing, when at a minimum it is a proactive step by GM in the right direction...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefully the XL7 keeps teh awesomeness.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Add SAAB to the list as well
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seriously, Saab might actually be worth something. GM is arrogant and foolish, and I think it will be their downfall. I have a feeling that Ford will be picking up a larger market share very soon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM and Suzuki aren't doing anything that a Joint Venture couldn't cover. Suzuki needs GM/Daewoo more than GM needs Suzuki. Many of Suzuki's cars and SUV in the US are from GM/Daewoo.

      GM should have tried to do something with Suzuki Motorcycles for developing markets.
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