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Will Suzuki Succeed at Reinventing Itself?


Bryan II

BREA, CA – November 19, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Executing a comprehensive plan to build a strong foundation for the future, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. has announced it will restructure its operations in the United States. This new direction will reorganize the Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions into two separate companies set to begin operations on April 1, 2021. This new organization is designed to give both new companies the best opportunity to optimize their success in their respective industries.

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. will be headquartered in Brea, California, Suzuki’s corporate home in the United States since 1981. Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. will be based in Tampa, Florida in the heart of the marine business in North America. Suzuki first entered the United States in 1963 and was originally based in Santa Ana, California before moving to its landmark, Pagoda-inspired building in Santa Fe Springs, California.

Satoshi Uchida will serve as Chairman and Masami Haga will serve as President of the new motorcycle/ATV company. Masahiro Yamamoto will serve as President of the new marine company. “

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Both the Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions are enjoying solid success in their respective businesses,” said Uchida. “As we proceed in reorganizing into two separate companies, we look forward to the Suzuki brand continuing to thrive in the United States.”

The primary goal of this reorganization is to strengthen each business. Key objectives are to achieve greater efficiencies, speed up decision-making, and position each company for increased sales and growth in the United States.

The location of Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. in Tampa was strategically chosen to expand Suzuki’s business, improve collaboration within the marine industry, and strengthen its relationship with boat builders, dealers, and vendors. The Gulf Coast location also provides convenient access to Suzuki’s new Marine Technical Center opened in Panama City, Florida in June, 2020.

 

Source: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.
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We really don't care about how they are going to do it, we only care if we get an Rm250 and Rm125 and a better Rmz250 and Rmz450

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Not a bike but purchased a new KingQuad 400 utility ATV last year,

was also considering the Honda 420 Rancher but the simplistic design of the Suzuki is what won me over (I'm old school).

Manual shift & air-cooled might not appeal to the masses but makes for a simple, bulletproof easy to work on machine.

As I tell everyone it's a really 1986 era quad with modern bodywork on it, paid easily 2K$ less than I would of for a Honda

and it does the job just as well albeit not as in a 'refined' way.

 

Despite not as competitive as it's counterparts, if I were in the market for a new 250F MX'er I'd strongly consider the RMZ250 

for the same reasons. No e-start (simpler), power characteristics better suited to the weekend warrior rather than a top end

only screamer. Decent suspension components albeit requiring some tuning. Reputation as a good handling/cornering chassis.

 

Perhaps what would concern me the most is the lack of dealerships in this region and,

their main areas of interest of the few I've been to seems to be everything else but dirt bikes (ATV's, outboards, street bikes etc.)

While online purchases are possible, having parts counter guys familiar with dirt bikes,

plus minimal parts / filters etc. in inventory is always a plus.

 

With the little R&D they put into their 4-strokes, don't count on them for ever re-introducing 2-strokes.

I say this restructure of its USA operations will have little to no effect at our level,

it won't change their R&D efforts and Japanese marketing ideologies.

 

Edited by mlatour
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Buying a Suzuki today feels like buying a new Dodge Caravan, it is simple, and will do the job but hasn't been redesigned in a decade and is kind of an also ran. 

 

Nothing wrong with that, it works with the Caravan, but it's not working with Suzuki. I don't even know where my nearest dealer would be, and they just don't seem to make a product anyone is daydreaming about.

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yeah baby just in time for the next gen DRZ !!! maybe a 436cc ? ...whose with me?

I like suzuki ive had a lot of them over the years, Ive had my DRZ since 04 which kinda works out great for me as it has barely changed in the 16 years since lolbcoti.

I dont mind somewhat dated tech but im unlikely to buy a new bike thats essentially the same as a 20 year old bike.

to be fair im unlikely to buy any new bike but i am likely to buy a couple year old bike !

Like Mlatour i see simplification as a value add, the DRZ while dated is simple and robust

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RM-Z350 !!!

And ditch the hyphen.  I am too heavy for a 250f, and a 450f has too much flywheel and torque for my taste.  I have a KTM 350SX, and I absolutely love its power and flickability, but the fork is a bit harsh at the top of the stroke.

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34 minutes ago, horsappl said:

RM-Z350 !!!

And ditch the hyphen.  I am too heavy for a 250f, and a 450f has too much flywheel and torque for my taste.  I have a KTM 350SX, and I absolutely love its power and flickability, but the fork is a bit harsh at the top of the stroke.

RMX350z.

They should rename it to RMZ350X, instead, though.

 

Edited by lil_squid
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I've been riding/racing since the 80's and Suzuki has ALWAYS been the underdog.  Year after year the magazines would test the four main manufactures in a MX "battle" for best bike, and year after year it was usually #1 Honda, with Kawasaki and Yamaha fighting for #2, and Suzuki pulling up the rear.  It was a rare day if Suzuki was triumphant in more than one category.

Decades later its still the same story...even though Suzuki has hit a few home runs along the way.  And how they dealt with this looming reputation was keep their costs down to remain attractive.  It was even difficult to sign quality factory riders for very long because they'd eventually jump ship to another team.

So its of no surprise to me that we're hearing Suzuki is struggling.  I hear they shut down a race team too.  I certainly hope the company finds their niche because its better for all when there's good competition in the market.

That said, the true fall away for a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts is when environmentalism almost completely squashed out 2-strokes.  It took awhile for 4-strokes to make a solid replacement.  And now that 2-strokes are coming back, lets hope that Suzuki joins the game with something impressive, otherwise it wont be long before KTM AG owns everything.

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It would be great if they updated the drz 400. Make it lighter with better supsension and it would be close enough to the euros to compete with their Dual-sports. I bet the drz motor would be pretty awesome with FI. Seems like FI is pretty solid in 4 strokes these days.

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Suzuki is like dating a solid 6, anyone would be happy with that - right up until a couple 8's walk past... at that point you'd be thinking that its time for an upgrade.

Long story short, Suzuki needs to up its game if it really wants to stay in the game, I'll be there if they do.

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Beat like a dead horse but Ill mention it again. Go back to making a RM125 and RM250! They are a less investment and the average consumer would rather invest in a simple $6500 bike than a over complex $8500-$10000 motocross bike that they are jumping, wreaking, going through all kinds of elements and keeping the maintenance up on.

MX/SX as a whole needs to step back from the million dollar big rigs, high dollar bikes and go back to a more simple way of running. Just like all racing, starts out simple and more affordable for average families then it starts getting bigger and bigger and it pushes people out because of expenses. 

The moto community needs to band together and aggravate these manufactures till they cave in. 

BRINGITH BACK THOU STROKES OF TWO 

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17 minutes ago, Sir Wreaksalot said:

Beat like a dead horse but Ill mention it again. Go back to making a RM125 and RM250! They are a less investment and the average consumer would rather invest in a simple $6500 bike than a over complex $8500-$10000 motocross bike that they are jumping, wreaking, going through all kinds of elements and keeping the maintenance up on.

MX/SX as a whole needs to step back from the million dollar big rigs, high dollar bikes and go back to a more simple way of running. Just like all racing, starts out simple and more affordable for average families then it starts getting bigger and bigger and it pushes people out because of expenses. 

The moto community needs to band together and aggravate these manufactures till they cave in. 

BRINGITH BACK THOU STROKES OF TWO 

I think the chain of events that made motocross die down is:

 

-First four-stroke race bike is released

-Companies start putting efforts into 4 strokes instead of 2 strokes

-Companies stop making 2 strokes

-People don't want to buy the new but super expensive 4 strokes

-4 strokes start being hated, and people want to see and ride 2 strokes, but companies refuse to make them

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Not sure what Suzuki is offering in say 50 to 100CC kids bikes but IMO I think dirt biking in NA is becoming more and more popular for whole families.

If example if the kids start of on a small Honda, KTM etc there are more chances they will continue to stay with a brand which kinda comes down to brand loyalty.

With that said we do live in an amazing time for dirt bike/off road 2T/4T/E-Bike options but IMO I think Honda & Yamaha are staying at the for front for Japanese bikes options in the NA and sort of get where the market is and is going.

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Suzuki needs to make a full 2 stroke offroad lineup (rmx150 or 125, rmx300 or 250.)

 

It would probably sell like hot cakes because the only other japanese competitor for offroad 2 strokes is yamaha, and they haven't updated in 16 years.

Honda and Kawasaki gives us some offroad options, but they aren't 2 strokes, so nobody cares.

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5 hours ago, DaveCR said:

The split will make it easier for Suzuki to pull the plug on a lower performing division.

And that division is the motorcycle/atv division.    Suzuki outboards are really good motors and have decent market share.   The marine division is paying the bills right now.   

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Suzukis Number One issue is failing to update it's popular Models for far too long ,and offering too many Models overall. Streamline your offerings and then get and keep them up to date and keep pricing reasonable .They dont have to be the ultimate cutting edge mega bucks machines but then again some of the most beloved Zukis havent had a significant update in a DECADE. That's BS and not a sustainable, or good business model. ( DRZ400 e.g. )

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14 minutes ago, Michael RedCrow said:

Suzukis Number One issue is failing to update it's popular Models for far too long ,and offering too many Models overall. Streamline your offerings and then get and keep them up to date and keep pricing reasonable .They dont have to be the ultimate cutting edge mega bucks machines but then again some of the most beloved Zukis havent had a significant update in a DECADE. That's BS and not a sustainable, or good business model. ( DRZ400 e.g. )

I wish they offrered more models.

The only things they have for 2021 offroad lineup is the Rm85, Rmz250, Rmz450, Drz50, Drz125L, Drz400s.

They haven't even made a DR650 for 2021..

image.png.733ab2cca001f3b7de2e2e1382e8d08a.png

In comparison, Honda has so many models its difficult to remember them all..

 

Crf50f, Crf110f, Crf125f, Crf125fb, Crf250f, Crf450x

Crf150r, Crf150rb, Crf250r, Crf250rx, Crf450r, Crf450rwe Crf450rx, Crf450x

Crf250l, Crf250l rally, Crf450rl, and the Xr650l.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by lil_squid

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Rmz’s are great bikes and I’d buy another one, but I’m gonna say that no, Suzuki probably won’t succeed at “reinventing” itself or anything. Not in this market.

Edited by RawbW

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The USA is in big trouble and headed down a road to socalism then, inevitably, full scale communism. Every day business are  shutting their doors.

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I don’t really see anything about “reinventing” themselves, it sounds more like the marine division is splitting off so they can go HQ in a place suited to that business. 

I doubt they’re going to do anything with dirt bikes, if anything maybe they’ll update their street bikes - which have been neglected almost as long as their dirt bikes, going on 10 years now without any substantial changes to the flagship GSXRs. 

The last time Suzuki “restructured” they split the car division from the rest of their operations, then promptly shut it down (for the US market). I hope that’s not what they’re planning for the motorsports division. The previous “restructuring” turned out to be basically gutting their operations and running things as cheap as possible, hence the no updates to anything for the past ~10 years. 

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They should focus on the models that sell in the highest volumes/margins and build from there. Bring back the two strokes as they sell even as an old platform(yz). Get going on the electric models especially the kids bikes and mopeds/scooters. Get into the models that are not as dependent on a thriving economy, so they can weather the storms.  Suzuki was the front runner initially when it cams to quads but eventually let that fizzle. 

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1 hour ago, epicride said:

They should focus on the models that sell in the highest volumes/margins and build from there.

For Suzuki in general, that would be ATV's and outboards.

I don't think I'd be too far off to deduct that most late model RMZ's I've seen at the track in past years were not purchased

during their current model year but rather leftovers that were highly discounted, often still in sitting in inventory even

mid-way thru the next model year, making them very appealing for 1st time buyers.

 

 In my region there are still a few brand new 2019 RMZ450's on showroom floors,

difficult to sell a 2021 for more if it's practically unchanged and, constantly gets rated last in all tests/shootouts.

 

Edited by mlatour
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