Suzuki Lays Off 100 Employees

American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) released nearly 100 employees today. According to sources, the layoffs included 46 employees in California and 40 to 50 employees in other states.

Suzuki’s two main facilities in the U.S. are in Brea, Calif. and Rome, Ga. ASMC is based in California; Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corp. (SMAC) is in Georgia. SMAC is responsible for final assembly of ATVs.

Suzuki ended its business year March 31. The Japan-based manufacturer’s consolidated sales for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, were Â¥2.335 trillion ($24.141 billion), down 9.5 percent from Â¥2.580 trillion during the third quarter of 2007. In Suzuki’s motorcycle and ATV business, third quarter sales were Â¥372.55 billion ($3.852 billion), down 14 percent from Â¥433.70 billion during the same three-month period in the previous year.

In North America, Suzuki wholesaled 88,000 motorcycles and ATV’s during its third quarter, down 33.8% compared to 133,000 units wholesaled during the same three-month period in 2007.

ASMC last summer consolidated its independent business units Automotive, Motorcycle/ATV and Marine, along with corporate operations under a new president, Kinji Saito.

ASMC said the move was made to better optimize its operations in the United States.

Saito, who came from Suzuki Motor Corp. in Japan, oversees all of ASMC’s operations, sales and marketing activities.