In a very recent move American Suzuki has decided to skip both the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows. Two factors played a big role in the decision to be absent from two of the four major North American auto shows. Suzuki had been on track to participate at the Los Angeles show and had done so last year as well. The Japanese auto maker last participated at the Detroit show in 2008.
The decision to skip the first two major auto shows of the season stems from a conservative strategy inspired by a tight marketing budget. The strategy calls for the top 20 U.S. markets judged by the highest number of dealers and market share to receive the most attention. The problem here is that both Los Angeles and Detroit are not in the top 20. Over the first nine months of 2011, Suzuki has only moved 430 vehicles in the whole state of California.
The other decision that influenced Suzuki to miss both the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows was the strength of the Japanese yen. Suzuki’s entire lineup, with the exception of the Equator pickup, is assembled in Japan which means it will cost the auto maker too much money to bring its vehicles stateside.
“For the upcoming season, our brand will selectively participate at auto shows were our distinctive and engaging story will resonate the most,” said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for Suzuki in an email to Automotive News.
According to Holland, American Suzuki’s budget has been diminished over the past few years courtesy of the economic downturn. Since the future of the turbulent economy is tough to predict, Suzuki will exercise caution, like most businesses, going forward.
Suzuki has certainly had a freefall when it sold over 100,000 vehicles in 2007. Three years later total sales equated to 23,994 vehicles but a strong fourth quarter in 2011 could break last year’s total. Through the first nine months of 2011 Suzuki has sold 20,284 vehicles in the U.S. which is a 20 percent increase from the same time last year.
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