The Suzuki brand was initially introduced in Puerto Rico in 1972. The Suzuki line became very popular and Suzuki Del Caribe (SDC) expanded quickly. SDC grew steadily over the years and garnered third place in Puerto Rico market from 2003 to 2008. In 2003 SDC was granted approval from US Customs to operate as a free-trade zone vehicle distribution center. Ten years later, in March 2013, Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan announced that it will no longer continue providing Suzuki vehicles for Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Canada. A few months before they had discontinued their vehicle production for United States. Currently, we at Suzuki Del Caribe continue to offer our Suzuki vehicle customers, parts, service and warranty through our existing dealer network around the Island.
In 2004, SDC added its Suzuki motorcycle and in 2008 the marine outboard engine division was introduced. In 2010, a second free-trade zone was approved by US Customs, this time to include its parts & accessories warehouse distribution operation in the city of Carolina, Puerto Rico making SDC the first successful free-trade zone for a parts and warehouse operation. Today, we have consolidated our other locations into one and have moved into our parts free-trade zone warehouse facilities, in order to provide significant efficiencies to our business.
In the motorcycle business, Suzuki Del Caribe has had the largest sales penetration in the sports segment for the past ten years. It has been also the first option for police and municipal government fleet sales. In the marine business division, during 2013, we have been granted authorization and the rights for distribution of Suzuki outboard marine engines to 18 additional Caribbean and South America territories, including Guyana, St. Marteen, Trinidad, to list a few. We have added a division into our group of Companies, primarily for sales & service of commercial and government boats use.
At Suzuki Del Caribe we are committed to the distribution of products of high durability and efficiency and we are strategically directed to satisfy the needs of our dealers and customers. We at SDC are strongly oriented to action and to the achievement of goals and objectives and these are only accomplished through a productive team ready to accept the challenges ahead!