While demand for new cars in South Africa may be softening, Suzuki Auto SA has every reason to celebrate. The company not only achieved record retail sales in July 2014, but also reached an important milestone by reaching (and passing) the 30 000 unit retail sales mark since the local subsidiary opened its doors in 2008.
In what is fast emerging as one of the most difficult years for the local motor industry, Suzuki Auto SA is outpacing the passenger car sales trend by a significant margin.
While local passenger car sales have dropped by 5,9 percent year to date, compared to 2013 levels, Suzuki Auto sales are up a heartening 29,7 percent. Total Suzuki passenger car retail sales for July totalled 650 units, up 14,6 percent from the previous best.
“We are delighted with the performance of our Suzuki passenger car range in what is undoubtedly a very tough sales climate,” says Yukio Sato, managing director of Suzuki Auto SA. “Our year-to-date improvement is proof not only of the excellence of our product range, but also of the dedicated efforts of our dealer network, and the entire Suzuki Auto SA team.”
Sato-san believes that the demand for Suzuki’s passenger cars and SUVs is a direct result of two significant market trends. “There is a definite move towards smaller, more efficient and technologically sophisticated cars. In addition, the value proposition has become even more important than before.”
Suzuki Auto’s range of vehicles, which extends from the Alto minicar and the Swift subcompact to the advanced SX4 multipurpose vehicle, the robust Grand Vitara and the iconic Jimny 4×4, has built up an enviable reputation for motoring excellence and value.
The latest addition to the Suzuki family is the Ertiga lifestyle utility vehicle, and despite only just having reached the market, has already been met with a favourable response from new vehicle buyers, with 102 unit sales in July, making it the third most popular model in the Suzuki Auto SA line-up.
While the Suzuki passenger car sales were buoyant, they weren’t the only reason for celebration. Suzuki motorcycle sales in July soared to an impressive 216 units – the highest single-month sales figure in many years – while Suzuki’s marine division also posted a strong sales month, with 52 unit sales.
“While we are under no illusions that trading conditions across all sectors will remain difficult for the remainder of the year, we are bullish about the prospects of the Suzuki brand in 2015,” says Sato-san.
“While we are confident that our current range will continue to attract a growing number of buyers, we also have some exciting future plans, which should further benefit the brand in the months to come,” he concluded.