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American Suzuki to file for bankruptcy protection

BREA, Calif. (AP) -- American Suzuki Motor Corp. says it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and cease selling automobiles in the U.S. as part of a plan to restructure its business.

The company, based in Brea, Calif., is the sole distributor of Suzuki Motor Co. vehicles in the continental U.S.

It said Monday that it will focus on selling Suzuki motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine outboard engines once it exits bankruptcy protection.

American Suzuki Motor says it decided to exit the car business because of slow sales, unfavorable foreign exchange rates and high costs due to U.S. regulatory requirements.

The company says it has enough cash to operate during the restructuring and intends to honor all car warranties and buyback agreements.

The bankruptcy and reorganization are unrelated to Japan-based Suzuki Motor Corp.