Suzuki Auto Files Chapter 11, Pulls Out of U.S. Market

2012 Suzuki

Suzuki will focus new car sales efforts on other shores.

Goodbyes are never fun but sometimes they’re imposed upon us.  That’s the case with the announcement this week that American Suzuki Motor Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will discontinue the sale of new cars in the U.S. market.

As a Suzuki dealership, we’re especially bummed.  The automaker is recognized around the globe for its quality and, while struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. has outsold many other well-known brands elsewhere in the world, even topping Honda sales in Japan.  Chuck Butler, owner and founder for Butler Auto Group, says, “We all know what a fine product Suzuki brought to the American market and, it is unfortunate that these international financial factors impacted the profitability of American Suzuki Motors overall.”  He adds that Butler will continue to offer Suzuki service and parts, and will honor all customer warranties until expired.

Suzuki’s decision affects automobiles only;  Motorcycle and marine engine business will stay unchanged.   While that’s some consolation we’re still sad to know we’ll be taking no more new deliveries of such fan favorites as the Kizashi or the towable Grand Vitara.   So, farewell Suzuki.  We’re glad to have known you.

Look for liquidation prices to be posted on Butler Suzuki stock in the near future.  For a walk down Suzuki memory lane visit


Oh, no… Snow! Everything You and Your Vehicle Need for Winter Driving

Snow levels in Southern Oregon are forecast to drop to their lowest so far this season over the next 24 hours. Whether your plans are to drive north for the UO Duck game, south to warmer climes, or just around town, you’ll want your vehicle ready to handle the cold, and potentially slick, streets. In the interest of physical safety and peace of mind, here’s a list of links to help you and your car, truck or SUV weather winter driving conditions.

Winterizing your vehicle:

Driving in snow and ice:

Studded Tires, Traction Tires and Chains
(Oregon’s studded tire season started November 1st and runs through March 31st.)

Oregon’s chain law:

Chain requirements:

Traction tires:

Tire reviews:

Up-to-the-minute local weather conditions:

Interstate 5 Siskiyou Pass roadcam:

Interstate 5 Sexton Pass roadcam:

Interstate 5 at Hilt, CA roadcam:

U.S. Highway 99 at Hayes Hill Summit roadcam:

Really, Silver?

Top 10 Global Vehicle Colors:

1. Silver – 26%
2. Black/Black Effect – 24%
3. White/White Pearl and Gray – 16%
4. Red – 6%
5. Blue – 5%
6. Brown/Beige 3%
7. Green – 2%
8. Yellow – 1%
9. Gold – 1%
10. Others – <1%
Source: DuPont’s 58th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report , 2010

It’s the kind of information you’d realize you knew if only you took the time to think about it: that is, that the most popular car color in the world is silver, at least according to DuPont’s 58th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report. Apparently, it has been for years now. For some reason I’m surprised. Maybe because one has to have a sense of the subtle to appreciate a more modest hue like silver, and nobody’s ever mistaken me for subtle. Maybe because I’ve never owned a silver vehicle and don’t know what I’m missing. Or maybe, because I’ve never thought about it.

As I sit here in my office at Butler’s Ashland dealership, however, it occurs to me that a majority of the dozens of vehicles within my view are, in fact, silver.

I’m intrigued. Of the 7 vehicles I’ve owned – or more accurately, that some bank has owned – only one was purchased regardless of color, and that was simply because it was purchased without my knowledge (It was my first vehicle: a 1976 Datsun pick-up, which my folks paid for in part by raiding my bank account. But that’s another story.) When I was involved in the decision, color definitely played a role. My vehicles have been white, black, red, or blue. Come to think of it, that sums up the spectrum of my wardrobe, too.

Which is exactly my point. I pick cars because they “fit” me – make, model and color match my personality. I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl; I like things simple, definite, basic… like primary colors. So maybe I just don’t speak the “silver” language. I’d love to learn, though. Maybe someone will help me? I mean, 26-percent of the population can’t be wrong!