LOS ANGELES -- American Suzuki, battling an industry-worst 78 percent decline in June sales, said it will offer three months of free gasoline on its SX4 compact-car line. The offer does not extend to the Grand Vitara SUV or any other Suzuki model.
Most of Suzuki’s sales decline can be blamed on the thinning of its product line. Inventory slowed to a trickle after last fall’s suspension of production of the XL-7 SUV at the CAMI plant Suzuki shares with General Motors. June XL-7 sales fell to 171 from 1,822.
Also, the removal of the Daewoo-built Forenza and Reno from Suzuki’s sedan lineup was sharply felt. But existing models such as the Grand Vitara (off 69.1 percent) and SX4 (off 53.2 percent) also showed major declines.
Suzuki has not said when production at CAMI will resume. A production version of the Kizashi 3 concept car is scheduled to arrive in the fourth quarter.
In looking at the June numbers, Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland said, “We had a couple pretty good months this time last year, which contributes to a more ominous-looking year-over-year number.”
The SX4 promotion is for the equivalent of three months’ worth of gasoline placed on a debit card. A buyer of the SX4 sedan will get $270 worth of free gas, while an SX4 crossover buyer gets $290 in free gas. Also, Suzuki has placed a $2,000 cash-back offer on manual-transmission versions of the SX4.