The economic downturn has been hitting automakers in all different ways. Starting in 2009, Suzuki chose not to attend the Detroit auto show; now, it will also sit out from the Los Angeles Auto Show starting this year.
The brand’s departure from the Detroit show two years ago was part of a move to refocus its marketing efforts toward parts of the country to its top 20 sales markets. According to Automotive News, neither Detroit nor Los Angeles rank within Suzuki’s top 20.
Jeff Holland, a spokesperson for Suzuki, told AN, “for the upcoming season, our brand will selectively participate at auto shows where our distinctive and engaging story will resonate the most.”
According to AN, Suzuki sold just 430 new cars in California in the first nine months of this year, so the last-minute departure from the L.A. Auto Show does not come as a huge surprise. The automaker has also encountered problems with the rise of the Japanese Yen against the U.S. dollar; all but one of Suzuki’s four models – the Equator compact pickup – is built in Japan. So far this year, Suzuki has sold 20,284 vehicles, a 20-percent gain from the same period in 2010, but still far below the 100,000-plus units sold in 2007.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)