These certainly are tumultuous times for Suzuki. After filing for bankruptcy in November, Suzuki said it was discontinuing its automobile sales in the United States to focus on its Motorcycle, ATV and Marine divisions. The news that Suzuki is trimming down its U.S. powersports dealer network, then, comes as something of a surprise.
According to DealerNews, dealerships received letters this week from Suzuki notifying them whether their franchise agreements would be renewed with the newly formed Suzuki Motor America. Some dealerships received letters telling them their agreements would not be picked up and they would no longer be authorized Suzuki dealers as of March 31.
“ASMC is assuming certain dealer agreements and other contracts and assigning them to Purchaser, while the majority of ASMC’s remaining contracts will be rejected,” reads a copy of the letter obtained by DealerNews.
PowersportsBusiness reports American Suzuki plans to reduce its current 930-member U.S. powersports dealer network by 100-200 as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization.
Cancelled dealerships have until March 27 to file a claim to receive $10,000 for the annulment of their agreements. Suzuki Motor America would also repurchase its inventory from dealerships.
The timing of the news is especially hard on dealerships. The letters were sent out just at the start of spring when the temperatures begin to rise and motorcyclists are ready to resume riding after a cold winter. Those looking to buy a new Suzuki motorcycle or who want to buy accessories may no longer be able to do so at their usual dealership. Ironically, the March 31 cut-off date falls on the day before the month the American Motorcyclist Association has named “AMA Go Ride!” month.