Drive Type: 4 wheel drive
Trim: 2 door
Waterford Works, New Jersey, United States
By now, you're surely aware that Suzuki is pulling out of the US market. It was a bit of a foregone conclusion to most who've been paying attention to the automotive realm, but it still sent a small shockwave through the industry. And one of the most oft-heard retorts goes something like this: "Next up: Mitsubishi."
It's easy to understand why many question Mitsubishi's existence in the States. After all, now that Suzuki is gone, Mitsubishi is the Japanese automaker with the fewest sales in America. Furthermore, the automaker's market share has dropped from .7 percent to just .4 percent after seeing sales fall 29 percent to 50,103 units through October.
In any case, Mitsubishi fans needn't worry. Speaking to Automotive News, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said, "We have no intention whatsoever of withdrawing from the US market." That's about as clear as clear can get. It's also worth mentioning that Gayu Uesugi was just named chairman of Mitsubishi Motors North America, and his main responsibility will be to revitalize the brand in the US.
Following word that Suzuki is ceasing car sales in America, it appears that demand for the Japanese automaker's wares have increased. According to The Detroit News, American Suzuki Motor Corp. will import an additional 2,500 vehicles to quench demand that has jumped since the company announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and ending sales in America.
Dealers recently informed their sales personnel that no more vehicles would be produced and that this was the final push. With heavy incentives and a seven-year warranty as value-adds, November sales for Suzuki rose in November some 22 percent, up to 2,224 vehicles. December sales also rose, but neither month's gains outweigh the long-term losses for the automaker. While Suzuki will sell roughly 22,000 cars this year in the US, it was selling about 120,000 annually before 2008.
As it stands, Suzuki will sell off the rest of its vehicle inventory, including the 2,500 additional units, and dealers will continue to provide parts an warranty work. With all of this negative news for the automaker, it's impressive to see an interest in Suzuki vehicles even with the imminent shuttering of its North American car sales.
Suzuki may be retreating (amidst booming sales) from the US market, but its efforts to woo European buyers are still going strong. Witness as proof these shadowy teaser images of the automaker's new C-segment crossover that it plans to unveil at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
Until the official debut, we've got just a few tidbits of information to report about the upcoming Suzuki. We're told, and can see, that the car has been modeled on the S-Cross concept car from the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Quite a bit of translation has happened, however, from show car to production form, as we see that the sweeping greenhouse of the S-Cross has been ditched in favor of a traditional pillared setup, large LEDs have moved from the lower front fascia to under the headlamps, and the grille is now much more in line with the rest of Suzuki's current range. The crossover is still painted in a faintly froggish shade of green, though, so the weirdness hasn't been completely leeched out.
We're also informed that the new C-segment offering will have an available a four-wheel-drive powertrain and one of the largest luggage areas in the segment. All of which strikes us as good stuff, but we're still not convinced that this unnamed entrant could have turned the Japanese automaker's fortunes in North America - even if it would have competed in one of the industry's fastest-growing segments. Feel free to read over Suzuki's brief press release below and look at the images before speculating for yourself in Comments.