Suzuki Canada pulls the plug early

Company will not import or sell 2014 models as previously planned

Published: July 28, 2013, 10:00 AM
Updated: June 7, 2015, 10:34 AM

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport

Suzuki Canada announced in March that it would withdraw from the Canadian car market at the end of the 2014 model year. At that time, the parent company had confirmed that it would build and supply 2014 models for Canada, even though they won't be sold in the U.S.

But that plan has apparently changed. Bill Porter, Suzuki Canada's senior vice-president of sales and marketing, has been quoted as saying that, "2014 model year vehicles will not be produced for the Canadian market. We are clearing out the 2013 model year vehicles right now."

The change in plans was apparently made here, in consultation with Suzuki's Canadian dealer body, which was concerned about the difficulty of selling 2014 models after the decision to withdraw was announced.

Sales of new Suzukis in Canada through the first half of 2013 were down 34% from the same period in the previous year – and 62% from their previous five-year average.

A group of 48 Canadian Suzuki dealers has filed a court action against Suzuki Canada under the National Automobile Dealer Arbitration Program (NADAP). They are seeking compensation for termination of their franchise agreements, as was offered to dealers in th U.S. but not in Canada.

Suzuki Canada has said that all its warranties will be honoured and parts and service will continue to be provided to customers through the company's warranty and service dealer network – although just how extensive that network will be remains to be seen.