In death, they say, there can sometimes be life. And in the death of Suzuki Automotive in North America, a suburban Pittsburgh Suzuki dealer found that he can make a lot of money, at least for a little while.
Irwin, PA car dealer Jim Shorkey, Jr., of Jim Shorkey Suzuki fame, learned from his original experience with the death of a marque when his beloved Oldsmobile passed from this earthly realm. Specifically, he learned that people freak out and start buying them like crazy, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
When the news broke in November, Shorkey Suzuki was selling about 50 Suzukis a month. Since January, he estimates the dealership has sold an average of 130 a month.
He said he told his staff, "We want to start buying Suzukis. I want to buy every Suzuki I possibly can. We want to take advantage of everybody else's panic."
Shorkey sent his feelers out all over the country, buying cars from other dealers in places like Florida, Colorado, and Wisconsin. He even went so far as to buy 800 cars directly from Suzuki as it was clearing out its inventory. His dealership went from selling 50 cars a month in November, when the company announced its bankruptcy, to 130 cars a month since January.
One would think that a company pulling out of a market would lead to a mass panic of orphan cars, with people abandoning them on the side of the road, wary of whatever disease they carried that made others not want to buy them in the first place.
But nay, Suzuki announced it would continue to honor warranties, offer price incentives, and allow dealers to act as service and parts operations. And now customers wanted to buy a Suzuki while they still could.
We here at Jalopnik say Good on You, Jim Shorkey. We're all for capitalism, and we're certainly all for Suzuki, The Little Automaker That Could, Even When It Couldn't. Just don't mark up the Suzukis too much, okay? We don't need any going to the crusher when all of this is said and done.
Photo credit: Flickr user Theenmoy