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Suzuki Halting U.S. Car Sales

And its American distributor files for Chapter 11 protection


SuzukiJapanese automaker Suzuki (PINK:SZKMY) announced yesterday that, after 30 years, it would stop selling cars in the U.S. market. The firm’s American distributor, American Suzuki Motor Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as well.

Suzuki will not pull out of the market entirely — it will continue to sell motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and other small-engine marine equipment.

A company spokesman blamed the pullout on several factors, including high production costs, few models and a difficult regulatory environment, as well as the strength of the yen. Those factors and others made selling cars profitably in the U.S. too difficult.

As recently as 2007, Suzuki sold as many as 107,000 vehicles in the United States. However, the recession took its toll on Suzuki, as it did other automakers, and sales have slid to just more than 26,000 in its 2011 fiscal year.

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