Brian Joss – Suzuki looks set to repeat last year’s feat, when it was crowned South Africa’s fastest growing automotive brand.
The maker of the popular Ignis, Swift, Celerio, Vitara and other compact vehicles recorded total sales of 1 179 in February, breaking its previous sales record of 1 046 units, which it set in November last year. Combined with January’s sales of 891 units, it is officially the brand’s best start to a year to date.
Suzuki’s sterling performance comes amidst a slowing overall vehicle market.
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), a total of 46 347 vehicles were sold in the short month of February, which is 3.8% down on the same month last year.
In contrast, Suzuki’s new record sales in February represent a jump of 94% compared to the same month last year, while its sales in January was up 81% on January 2017. In that month, 816 (69%) units sold were sold by dealers to private customers.
Says André Venter, divisional manager of sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa: “This year we will celebrate our first decade in South Africa, and it seems that the significant investment in our product line-up, vehicle pricing, dealer network and training has come to a head in the past two years to deliver four record sales months and the best growth of any established brand.”
Venter says that the dealer network deserves much of the credit for this achievement, as it has contributed to the very strong brand affinity among owners and non-owners alike.
“Our dealer network has worked very hard to foster one of the most loyal groups of owners that any brand could wish for. We look forward to expanding that network in 2018 and will soon open the doors to new dealerships in Lephalale, Piet Retief and Amanzimtoti, extending our reach in smaller and outlying regions,” says Venter.
Suzuki expects its sales performance to continue in March, the last month that it will offer its extended mechanical warranty of five years or 200 000 km as a free addition to every new vehicle sold.
Top selling Suzuki models are the Swift: 493 units, Ignis: 213 units, Celerio: 137 units. Baleno: 134 units