American Suzuki Corp., the Brea-based headquarters and U.S. distributor for Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp., has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following months of poor auto sales. The company will use chapter 11 to restructure its operations, and when it exits bankruptcy, American Suzuki will no longer sell cars in the U.S., and will instead focus on Suzuki’s other product lines: motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine outboard engines.
In the case filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for California’s Central District in Santa Ana, American Suzuki listed debts and liabilities ranging from $100 million to $500 million, with between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors. Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corp., the only interest holder in American Suzuki, is not a debtor in the case.
The company has guaranteed that all warranties and agreements will continue to be honored throughout the process and Suzuki owners will be protected. Most dealerships that carried Suzuki models will be transitioned to parts-and-service operations, while some locations may be closed.
The company said in a statement that it is closing its auto sales operations in the U.S. due to a number of “serious challenges,” including low sales volume, a narrow selection of vehicles in the Suzuki lineup, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, and the high costs of U.S. regulatory requirements.
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