Jim Shorkey's Pittsburgh-area dealership has handled a long list of ill-fated brands during the past three decades -- American Motors, Renault, Eagle, Oldsmobile, Daewoo and Isuzu, all now in the dustbin of history in this country.
And these days Shorkey represents Suzuki, a brand on a lot of people's death-watch list after a couple of miserable sales years.
So is this guy Mr. Unlucky?
Not really, says Shorkey, 53, who used his Oldsmobile cash settlement to open the Suzuki point in 2003 and thinks the little Japanese brand has staying power in the United States.
He is the second-biggest U.S. Suzuki dealer, according to American Suzuki Motor Corp., based on retail sales last year and so far this year. His Suzuki volume increased 10 percent to 1,250 new vehicles in 2009, while the brand was plunging 54 percent nationwide.
Across the street from the Suzuki store in Irwin, Pa., Shorkey is building an 18,000-square-foot showroom for his only other franchise, Kia. He acquired the Kia store in 2007 by trading a Jeep point. Shorkey's Kia sales last year more than doubled to about 1,350 units, and they are on the rise again this year.
While Kia is a growing brand in the midst of a product renaissance, Suzuki is a different story. Many in the industry wonder whether it will be the next auto brand to withdraw from the U.S. market.
Suzuki's sales here topped 100,000 in 2006 and 2007 but fell to 38,689 in 2009 and were off 52 percent through August. About 50 dealers have accepted buyout offers from the company in the past six months.
Shorkey says his own Suzuki sales have declined this year, but the brand continues to be a priority for him.
"In the past five years we have sold 6,000 new Suzukis," he says. "It's definitely a volume deal for us."