Drive Type: 4 wheel drive
Trim: 2 door
Waterford Works, New Jersey, United States
Bloomberg reports American Suzuki is set to borrow up to $45 million to to close its automotive dealerships and freshen up its it motorcycle and marine business. Suzuki Motor Corporation will loan American Suzuki the funds at three percent below the London Interbank offered rate in order to offer dealer owners a cash payment in exchange for voluntarily abandoning franchise agreements. The company's 216 dealers have 10 days to make a decision on the matter. Under the plan, Suzuki would give dealer owners half of what they're owed in one lump sum, and the dealers would then be able to pursue the remaining debt through the company's bankruptcy procedure.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Scott C. Clarkson granted American Suzuki interim authority to borrow the funds, but Bloomberg reports the company will likely return to court in a few weeks to seek up to $100 million. According to Richard Pachulski, a lawyer for Suzuki America, the automaker may owe its dealers somewhere around $50 million.
Plenty of us here at Autoblog have designs for epic drives. Whether it's bouncing around the country in an old International or heading from Alaska to Chile on a bike, we like to think we have big aspirations. Or at least we did until we heard about these four gentlemen. You see, Leslie George Carvall, Alan Butler, Glyn Maher and Charles Scott are all in their 70's, and they plan to pile into a pair of Suzuki Jimny SUVs and drive around the world. Sort of makes a hike across country seem like a trip down the block to the local corner store. They're calling it "The Ultimate Challenge," and they plan to undertake the journey for two reasons.
First, they want to prove that age shouldn't stand in the way of people doing what they want to do. Second, the group hopes to raise funds for the 'Heaven Can Wait I'm Busy' group, which aims to direct money toward worthy charities both in the UK and around the world. Save the Children and Oakhaven Hospice are the two currently designated charities.
The trip gets started in just three days, and you can head over to the effort's site to track their progress. The route should cover some 16,500 road miles and 10,375 sea miles. You can also catch up with the project on Facebook.
Suzuki might be dead in the US, but its cars are still thriving in many other markets. Aside from the updated SX4 and a slew of promising concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki is getting ready to launch a much-needed replacement for the aged Grand Vitara, and our spy photographers recently caught the compact SUV testing in Sweden.
Judging by these spy shots, the replacement for the current Grand Vitara - it may or may not retain the Grand Vitara name - will take its styling cues from the Suzuki iV-4 Concept displayed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. These cues include the narrow, angular headlights, the sloped D-pillars and we even get a hint of the sculpted rear-wheel arches. We hear that the new Suzuki SUV could go on sale in Europe next year, so we'd expect it to debut later in 2014.