How little?

American Suzuki, Suzuki’s U.S. sales arm, recently issued a news release saying that its total April 2011 sales were up 9 percent over its sales for the same month a year earlier. That seems admirable, until you look at the numbers — 2,132 Suzuki models sold in April 2011 vs. 1,950 in April 2010.

That top number would represent a bad selling month for the least popular product offered by any of Suzuki’s mainstream rivals. That’s too bad. It means many car buyers in the United States are missing a good deal.

Consider American Suzuki’s single biggest seller, the Kizashi sedan, whose sales for the year to date are up 111 percent compared with 2010, representing 2,571 cars sold so far in 2011 compared with 1,219 during the same stretch of last year. That sales improvement would be great for a super-exotic automobile, whose market penetration is restricted by price. But it’s lousy for any car company competing with the likes of Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet.

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