Suzuki cemented itself firmly in the top 10 best-selling car manufacturers in South Africa following record-breaking figures in January. The distributor sold 1632 vehicles, elevating the Japanese brand to seventh-place, ahead of Mercedes-Benz.
Andre Venter, sales and marketing manager of the local arm says: "Our demand for models such as the Swift, Jimny, and Ertiga has never been stronger, and we are working hard to get models to our dealers on time.
With new models on the horizon, such as the upcoming affordable S-Presso, we believe that our sales will continue to grow."
It's not difficult to understand why Suzuki sold 824 Swifts in January an increase of 381 in December 2019 to become the sixth best-selling passenger car in the country.
The Swift offers an honest, relatively affordable entry retail price of R166 900 for the GA model, a two-year or 30 000km service plan is included in the price.
Solid numbers all-round
More Swifts found homes in January than rivals from Ford (Figo), Hyundai (i10) and Toyota (Etios), illustrating the brand's ability to beat out arguably more established rivals in the market.
Only the Corolla Quest, Renault Kwid, Ford Ecosport, and Volkswagen's Polo and Polo Vivo performed better in the passenger car sales figures.
Venter shone the spotlight on dealer sales, which have increased by close to 60% in comparison to January 2019, of the 1632 units sold 1222 were by dealers.
Suzuki's second best-selling vehicle in January was the diminutive Jimny (189 units). Only available with a 1.5-litre engine and a three-door configuration, the Jimny has a cult following among motorists looking for an affordable vehicle with genuine off-road ability.
While we noted during a road test that the Jimny's shortcomings come to the fore during highway driving at the national speed limit, but apart from that it's a good vehicle priced from R285 900, and is also available with a two-year or 30 000km service plan.
There's no doubt that a brand like Suzuki with solid dealer infrastructure and a good line-up of models will continue to increase its market share as motorists turn to value purchases.
Image: Warren Wilson