Local Suzuki dealer expecting no impact from end of car line
GLENVILLE The local Suzuki auto dealer is expecting no significant impact from the decision by the Japanese carmaker to stop selling new vehicles in the United States.
Fogg’s Auto on Route 50 has always sold more used cars than new cars, said John Fogg, owner and general manager. The business, founded by Fogg’s father in 1955 as a used car business, became a Suzuki dealer only in 2006.
“This is not a major event for Fogg’s Auto,” Fogg said Tuesday. “We’ve been in business many years, we have a very strong service department and we sell many more used cars than we do new cars.”
American Suzuki Motor Corp. on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in California, and said it will cease selling automobiles in the U.S. It is the sole distributor of Suzuki motor vehicles in the United States.
However, the company said it intends to honor all car warranties and buyback agreements, something that Fogg emphasized, as well. Suzuki remains strong in the motorcycle, marine motor and ATV markets, and will want to protect its product service reputation, Fogg said.
“Suzuki is making clear it will honor warranties,” he said.
The company said it is exiting the car business because of slow sales, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, and high costs due to U.S. regulatory requirements. It said some dealerships will transition to parts and service operations and others will close.
Unlike competitors such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan, Suzuki did not set up any manufacturing facilities in the United States, which means the strengthening of the yen has hurt its U.S. pricing.
Suzuki sold 2,023 vehicles in the United States in October, up 5 percent from the same month last year.
Fogg said only about 1 percent of all Suzuki worldwide sales are in the United States and the company likely sees more sales opportunities in developing countries.
Fogg’s has 60 employees and Fogg said the corporation’s decision won’t have any impact on his employment levels.
A manager at Advantage Suzuki in Albany, the other Capital Region Suzuki dealership, did not respond to a request for comment.