American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), which declared bankruptcy in early November, has been approved by the courts for up to $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing to enable it to shutter its US car business. ASMC had received a $45 million loan from the Japanese parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), last month in order to make repayment deals with its franchise dealers. At the same time, ASMC was awaiting final court approval of this larger loan.
So is it time to start the Suzuki dead pool? Automotive News seems to think so. While the newspaper doesn't go as far as suggesting that Suzuki is not long for the American market, it has compiled a depressingly long list of signs that the company is on its last legs here.
Japanese automakers are continuing to evaluate their strategies for coping with natural disasters after this year's earthquake and tsunami, and for Suzuki, that apparently means packing up shop and moving to higher ground. According to Automotive News, the manufacturer is investing around $494 million to move its factories and research center away from the coastal city of Hamamatsu. The report notes that scientists estimate that there's an 80 percent chance that an 8.0-magnitude earthquake will
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