Suzuki, Mitsubishi Struggle With Scant Model Updates
Much of the automakers' model range in the U.S. will not be updated until at least 2015.
In April, Automotive News published a damning report about Suzuki's shrinking dealer network. In July, we asked Suzuki America that question and received no response. Several days later, The Truth About Cars began its "Suzuki Death Watch" series. Now, Automotive News has released another story about Suzuki's future -- specifically that no new or refreshed models, aside from minor updates to the SX4 and Grand Vitara this fall, will come out until 2015.
That leaves the Equator pickup and Kizashi sedan -- the latter being Suzuki's newest and best product on sale -- to linger for the next three years. Within industry-average six-year product cycles, the SX4 and Grand Vitara should soon be due for complete revamps, but they won't be getting any. Nor is the European-market Swift is not coming to the US. While Automotive News doesn't name its sources, trust us, it's not a tall tale.
However, Mitsubishi is in almost as much trouble as Suzuki. Automotive News reports that Mitsubishi, which is cutting several model lines after 2012 including the Eclipse and Galant (pictured, at right), will have only new two product launches between now and 2015. Those vehicles, the 2014 Outlander and Outlander Plug-in, won't arrive until 2013, the company said. This year, Mitsubishi has sold 37,067 cars through July; in 2002, it sold more than 345,000 vehicles. Suzuki cracked the 15,000-unit threshold in July, no surprise considering that sales declined 74 percent between 2007 and 2011.
The report also states that the Mitsubishi Lancer, last redesigned in 2007, won't receive an overhaul until "early 2015." Mitsubishi's electric car, the i-MiEV, has only sold 446 from November 2011 through July, according to company reports (Nissan sold nearly 12 times as many Leaf models in the same period).
So, we'll now rephrase that question to, "Will Suzuki and Mitsubishi quit the U.S. market?"
[Source: Automotive News]
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