Suzuki Impacted by GM's Bankruptcy

Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. says it may not be able to recover $305 million in outstanding debt from General Motors Corp. and its affiliates following the U.S. automaker’s bankruptcy filing on June 1.

“We are going to collect and analyze the information immediately on this matter and consider future step to be taken,” Osamu Suzuki, chairman and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corp., said in a prepared statement.

Suzuki said he believes the matter will have only a limited effect on Suzuki Motor’s business. “As a business partner, we expect General Motors Corporation to be reorganized smoothly under a Chapter 11 reorganization plan,” he said.

GM once owned more than 20 percent of Suzuki Motor. In 2006, the U.S. auto giant sold a 17 percent holding to raise cash for restructuring, leaving it with just three percent. That three percent of Suzuki Motor’s common stock was sold by GM in late 2008.

However, Suzuki Motor still holds a 49.99 percent share of CAMI Automotive Inc., a subsidiary company of General Motors of Canada Ltd. (GM’s subsidiary company). Also, the two manufacturers currently work together on developing hybrid and fuel-cell technologies, and have agreed to collaborate on entries in new emerging markets.