Brian Joss – Suzuki South Africa, one of the fastest growing brands in the country, has received international recognition for its sales growth and service quality.
The South African affiliate of the Japanese compact car specialist received no fewer than seven Awards at Suzuki’s annual awards in the Middle East and Africa region, which was held in New Delhi, India last week. Among these, Suzuki SA was crowned as the Champion of Champions for its growth in sales and customer service rankings.
“We are very proud of our dealer network, which has worked hard to ensure that the massive growth in sales did not come at the expense of our customer service. On the contrary, our host of global awards shows that we increased our level of customer service, while welcoming thousands more motorists to the Suzuki family,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
In New Delhi, Suzuki South Africa received awards for the highest sales in the region, the highest volume growth in Africa, the best training of its staff in Africa, the highest parts and accessories sales in Africa, the highest sale of accessories per vehicle and the most improved systems and processes in sales.
Before receiving the top award as the Champion of Champions, Suzuki South Africa also received an award for the best customer retention activities and a second-place award for exceptional automobile dealer management.
“To be crowned Champion of Champions among all the Suzuki importers in the Middle East and Africa countries is a very big honour. It means that Suzuki South Africa has excelled in all parts of our business and that our customers have benefitted the most,” says Venter.
Since first breaking through the 1 000 unit per month mark in August 2017 with 1 004 sales, Suzuki has grown in leaps and bounds in a largely pedestrian new vehicle market. It broke its own sales record five times since July 2017 and has become a top 10 vehicle brand with regular sales above 1 000 units.
In 2016 and 2017, Suzuki was crowned the Brand of the Year in the Cars.co.za Awards, powered by WesBank, and in its 2017 financial year it sold more than
10 000 vehicles for the first time in a 12-month period.
In September, Suzuki again sold over 1 000 units when it handed over the keys to 1 140 new vehicle owners, which is an improvement of 22% on its sales in September 2017. In contrast, the overall vehicle market declined by 1.9% in the same period.
Among its star performers was the all-new Suzuki Swift (The Gremlin, September25), which sold 413 units, the Celerio (208 units), the Ignis (154 units) and the Ciaz, which retailed a total of 114 units .
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) commented on the September sales figures that the latest domestic sales figures reflected a difficult and subdued economic environment.
“We hope to maintain our sales momentum for the fourth quarter of 2018, which will mean that we will set another overall sales record for the year.
To do this, we have introduced several new products such as the all-new Suzuki Swift and will add another in November, when the much anticipated Suzuki Jimny will make its appearance in South Africa,” says Venter.
While subject to change, the all-new Suzuki Jimny 4×4 is expected to enter the market at R265 000, complete with ladder-frame chassis and full off-road capabilities.
CAPTION: Star performer: the new Suzuki Swift. Picture: Motorpress.