Dealerships are applauding the fact that American Suzuki Motor Corp. was given permission by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, Calif., to continue with 0% financing offers. This would definitely help dealerships sell what remains of their inventories. Ally Financial, which is Suzuki’s preferred lender, offers wholesale and retail financing for U.S. Suzuki dealers under American Suzuki Financial Services, a private label.
American Suzuki required the court’s approval to continue paying Ally for subvented loans. Suzuki's consumer Web site revealed that from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, the company is offering 0% financing for 72 months for 2012 models. It is also offering 0% loans for 48 months for the 2013 models. Last Nov. 5, American Suzuki filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Court records indicated that Suzuki has assets of $233 million compared to liabilities of $346 million. In a court filing, the company said that of its 220 dealerships in the U.S., only about 90 (most of which are in the Northeast) are selling "significant" volumes.”
The company said that about 130 of the dealerships sell fewer than five units per month while others sells just one or two units a month.
The Automotive News Data Center said that Suzuki’s inventory lists about 5,500 units as of Nov. 1, standing for a 71-day supply. Ally spokeswoman Sue Mallino said that even with the bankruptcy filing, the dealership access to credit from American Suzuki Financial Services was not interrupted.