Suzuki shatters records in declining market

  • Suzuki dealers set new sales record
  • Suzuki the second best-selling passenger vehicle in the retail market
  • Suzuki Swift, Baleno and the Suzuki Bassonia dealership win big in naamsa Accelerator Awards
  • Suzuki Auto South Africa has set a new record for the number of vehicles sold by dealers to private buyers.

Naamsa, the business council for the automotive industry, reports that Suzuki sold 3 857 new cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles to customers in October. This represents 86% of the total of 4 480 vehicles that Suzuki sold in South Africa last month.

The rise in retail sales is in sharp contrast to retail sales by the industry in general. According to naamsa, a total of 36 468 sales, or 80.2% of the total industry sales of 45 445 vehicles, were made by dealers.

This is the third month that Suzuki has shown excellent retail results amidst a slowing vehicle market.

In October for instance, the total market declined by 2% and passenger vehicles sales dropped by 3.4% over the same month in 2022. Over the same period, Suzuki’s total sales jumped by 9%, with dealers setting a new overall sales record, growing more than 26%.

According to naamsa, Suzuki dealers sold the second most passenger vehicles of any brand in South Africa and the third most vehicles outright.

Suzuki has previously said that the success of its dealer network is synonymous with the success of its brand. While many other brands bolster sales in a declining market by selling cars wholesale to the government or car rental companies and large vehicle fleets, Suzuki has been welcoming South Africans onto its showrooms and selling cars to individuals, small businesses and families.

“If we can maintain strong dealer sales, it means that we are keeping our customers happy and that they are referring friends to Suzuki and returning for their next vehicle purchase. On the whole, it means that people love Suzuki cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles,” says Henno Havenga, General Manager of Auto Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.

Further proof of this statement comes from Suzuki Mobility Finance – a product of WesBank. This division reports that Suzuki has received more individual finance applications in the month of October than ever before.

Suzuki Mobility Finance and the product planning team at Suzuki Auto South Africa has been hard at work to give customers an affordable and reliable alternative to their ageing current vehicle.

“In its most recent industry report naamsa says that the declining new vehicle market is a symptom of the general lull in the economy and the pressure on consumers to make ends meet. It is in this environment that Suzuki offers affordable but exciting and desirable vehicles that are also affordable to service and repair,” says Havenga.

The best-performing Suzuki in October’s sales numbers was the Suzuki Swift with 1 248 sales. This compact model was identified as one of the three finalists in the category for the Passenger Car of the Year, judged by their overall sales and general popularity.

The Swift won the category for the Top Imported Vehicle of the Year in the same awards and it stands a chance to bag another award as it joins the Celerio in this year’s Consumer Awards as two of the top picks for the Entry-level Hatch Category.

Following behind the Swift were other best-selling models such as the S-Presso (536 units), the Ertiga (498 units) and the Baleno with 490 sales. It is worth noting that the Suzuki Baleno was the winner of the Biggest Achiever of the Year Award in the naamsa Accelerator Awards for the passenger vehicle with the greatest year-on-year sales improvement.

Looking ahead at the rest of the fourth quarter, Suzuki will launch one more model – the Suzuki Jimny in five-door guise – while further expanding its dealer network.

Suzuki currently has 102 dealers in its network and one of its large dealers – Suzuki Bassonia in Johannesburg – was voted the Dealer Achiever of the Year in the naamsa Accelerator Awards. Suzuki Bassonia reached 200 units retail sales for the second time in October 2023.

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