Suzuki and BG: Strange Bedfellows?


American Suzuki Motor Corp. and aftermarket additive supplier BG Products have inked an agreement under which BG will have exclusive vendor status to supply American Suzuki dealers with fluid products, related equipment and training.

Asked the companys position on use of aftermarket lubricant and fuel additives, American Suzuki attorney Terrence Huang told Lube Report, We dont endorse any aftermarket additives.

He continued, In light of the [1996] Slick 50 complaint by the Federal Trade Commission, corporate legal recommends that American Suzuki Motor Corp. should not endorse any BG Products in advertising. Moreover, an endorsement of a particular BG product, i.e. engine or transmission additive, might expose ASMC to false advertisement claims made by BG Products.

But others at American Suzuki,the Brea, Calif.-based U.S. subsidiary of Japanese automaker Suzuki,take a different view.

There are circumstances in which the consumer will receive benefits from aftermarket additives, Dennis Blough, American Suzukis senior manager, technical quality, told Lube Report. Profit is not the primary driving force, but its a target. Frankly, the primary goal is vehicle durability and customer satisfaction.

Suzuki owners manuals recommend onlythe use of API-licensed motor oils and are silent on the question of aftermarket oil additives, Blough said. According to the American Petroleum Institute web site, BG Products has no API-licensed motor oils.

Under the one-year agreement, BGs network of sales representatives will promote BGs products to the 400 Suzuki automotive dealers in the U.S. We have 900 sales reps around the country, our distributor network, and they will implement the program, BG Products President Darin Greseth told Lube Report. The goal is to provide better service and longer [vehicle] life through our maintenance programs.

We are excited to have this relationship with Suzuki.

Purchase of BG products is encouraged by American Suzuki, but is voluntary for its dealers, Dennis Blough said. Pricing is national-level. Each [Suzuki] dealer will receive the same price for the products bought from BG. Suzuki dealers are all independent business owners, and set the retail prices for the products they resell to consumers, although BG has suggested retail prices, Blough added.

Asked about BGs exclusive vendor status, Blough paused. They are a recommended vendor, he replied. Our Parts and Accessories Division does have relationships with other chemical providers.

BG Products, based in Wichita, Kan., supplies a wide range of aftermarket additives for lubricants, fuel, and transmissions, described as enhancers, treatments, flushes, cleaners, concentrates, conditioners, restorers, superchargers, etc. It also supplies formulated passenger car and heavy duty engine oils, universal transmission fluid, greases, and a variety of fluid-exchange and other equipment.

Related Topics

Market Topics