Suzuki Motors to end US car sales amid growing struggle

Chairman of Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor, Osamu Suzuki introduces the company's new compact car
Image caption Suzuki is one of the biggest carmakers in Japan and has enjoyed success in emerging markets

Japan's Suzuki Motors will stop selling cars in the US as it continues to struggle to compete with rivals in the world's second-biggest market.

The firm said its focus on small cars and stringent US safety regulations had hurt its growth in the country.

It added that a strong yen, which makes its cars more expensive for foreign buyers, had also hurt its fortunes.

The firm's subsidiary, American Suzuki Motor Corp, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Suzuki said such a move will help "facilitate a smooth transition of the current US automobile dealer sales network into a network of authorized service and parts dealers".

This will allow it to honour all warranties and provide service facilities to owners of Suzuki vehicles in the US, the company added.

Suzuki's sales in the US peaked in 2007 but have been hurt since then by the global financial crisis and the subsequent weak recovery in the US economy.

Its US operations made a loss of of $15.8m (£9.8m) during the last financial year.

The company said it will now focus on sales of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine equipment in the US market.