State College auto dealer Five Star to stop selling Suzukis

cpassant@centredaily.comJune 20, 2013 

Five Star Suzuki in State College will not be selling Suzukis as of this Friday, the auto dealership’s general manager said Wednesday.

Five Star, at 1400 W. College Ave., opened in 2011, selling the Suzuki brand as well as used cars. In November, American Suzuki Motor Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, notifying all of its U.S. dealers that it would discontinue new car deliveries. The company said it needed to reorganize and would focus more on its U.S. motorcycle and marine sales.

In late February, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the Chapter 11 plan, according to a Suzuki news release. American Suzuki Motor Corp. was dissolved as of March 31. In its place is Suzuki Motor of America.

“Our Suzuki sales operation is shutting down this coming Friday,” Five Star GM Steve Goldstein said Wednesday. “We will honor all warranties and offer parts and service until further notice.”

In November, Goldstein said he was “blindsided” by Suzuki’s Chapter 11 announcement, and would look for another brand to sell and bump up Five Star’s pre-owned offerings. The former hasn’t happened, according to the dealer’s website.

Goldstein would not comment on any future plans for his dealership.

By the time the company filed for Chapter 11, Suzuki’s debt had skyrocketed to $346 million, according to the company, which called its filing “inevitable.”

That set off a storm among more than 200 dealers nationwide. Five Star Suzuki in Altoona became Five Star Mitsubishi. The Altoona dealership also no longer sells new Suzukis, but does service them and honor warranties, according to its website.

Goldstein’s business is not affiliated with Five Star in Altoona.

Contact Christopher Passante at 231-4621 or follow him on Twitter @ChrisPassante.

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