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Suzuki Bails On Major Auto Shows In Los Angeles & Detroit

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Suzuki fans, we have bad news: if you were hoping to glimpse your favorite automaker's newest rides at the upcoming Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows, you're in for some disappointment.

For those who follow Suzuki, it's not surprising that the company is skipping Detroit. Suzuki hasn't appeared there since January of 2008, months before America hit the worst of the Great Recession in September of that same year.

The news about Los Angeles, however, is a little more shocking. Suzuki participated in the 2010 L.A. Auto Show, and the company was slated to take part this year, too. According to spokesperson Jeff Holland, however, Suzuki decided "very recently" to skip L.A. this go-round.

Why? Holland says that "For the upcoming season, our brand will selectively participate at auto shows where our distinctive and engaging story will resonate the most." For Suzuki, that means focusing attention on its 20 biggest markets -- those areas where the company has the most dealers and the most market share. Neither Detroit nor Los Angeles make the cut.

On the surface, Holland's logic makes a lot of sense. After all, if you have limited marketing dollars -- as every company does these days -- why not spend them on consumers who are most apt to like your products?

But while auto shows may be great for shoppers and enthusiasts, for automakers, they're really about making a splash with the media. So why would Suzuki dodge the swarms of journalists that converge on the L.A. and Detroit shows and the vast amounts of media coverage they provide? Only Suzuki can answer that.

For those who don't follow Suzuki, we're pleased to mention that the company's sales are up for the year. From January through September, Suzuki sales were 19.5% over the same period in 2010 -- though the company's volume of 20,284 for light cars and trucks pales in comparison to every other mainstream automaker (Saab excepted).

Is Suzuki avoiding the media because it has nothing to show? Or is the company using its dollars wisely to build market share? Only time will tell, but we wouldn't be the first to suggest that Suzuki might be cruising toward the same American fate that befellĀ fellow Japanese automaker, Isuzu.

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Comments (2)
  1. The one thing not mentioned in this article that has alot to do with Suzuki not attending the LA show is that Suzuki currently has a very small footprint in California. Even though Suzuki is headquartered in Brea, American Suzuki has acknowledged previous that it has yet to make a dent in the California car market, thus with an almost non-existant dealer presence in that state, it makes little sense to spend significant marketing dollars at a auto show there. American Suzuki is focusing on its most important markets and California just isn't one of them. As for the Detroit show, it doesn't make much sense for American Suzuki to pick up the Detroit show again until after the next generation of Suzuki product line arrives after 2013.
     
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  2. Also, American Suzuki has a much smaller marketing budget than most other brands in the U.S. even other brands that are similar in size to Suzuki here, so it really makes alot of sense for Suzuki to focus its scarce marketing dollars on areas where it actually has a presence. Sometimes the most obvious explination actually is the right one, and that seems to be the case here. There doesn't really seem to be a strong case or need to add in silly speculations here considering what has already been stated fits the situation. I don't know what's happend to journalistic standards lol.
     
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