Suzuki is bringing a new lineup of motorcycles into the United States for 2011 after taking 2010 off due to weak demand, a bad economy and a glut of unsold 2009 models. The economy still hasn’t turned around but it is unclear whether demand and/or inventory situation has changed. Maybe it has. Maybe Suzuki just feels it can’t be seen by American riders as giving up on the market. Brand loyalty and market share is important in the industry, so maybe Suzuki is just willing to exacerbate the glut and gut things out until Americans start spending again like only they can. There’s also the fact that this is Suzuki’s 50th anniversary year of international racing, and you don’t want to waste a PR opportunity like a semi-centennial.
According to a July 19 Suzuki press release, the 2011 motorcycle models will include new versions of the V-Strom, the Hayabusa, the Boulevard S40 and M109, the RM-Z250, the RM-Z450, and the TU250.
It’s not just Suzuki’s U.S. market that’s suffering in this drawn out economic downturn. Most motorcycle manufacturers’ numbers have plummeted, and dealers have to be struggling. Who knows, maybe the market will turn around (although it doesn’t seem like it). And maybe Suzuki won’t release new U.S. models again in 2012. Maybe an every other year thing will become the norm. I, for one, am staying tuned.