Suzuki celebrates its wins with multiple award nominations
More celebrations could be in store for Suzuki South Africa, which cannot seem to stop the awards flowing.
Nominated in four categories at the Cars Awards, the Japanese car manufacturer is also a finalist in three categories at the naamsa Accelerator Awards.
The outcome of the naamsa awards will be revealed on 13 October – meaning that the champagne corks could pop as early as Friday.
Suzuki is punted as the best-performing value-for-money brand in both competitions, ensuring that motorists are also winners.
Suzuki is the most popular brand in the entry-level and budget segments in this year’s Cars.co.za Consumer Awards. Cars.co.za, the authoritative online vehicle retail and news platform, announced its finalists for the seventh iteration of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards (CarsAwards). It picked four Suzuki models across three categories as finalists.
The Suzuki models chosen as finalists are:
Entry-level hatch (priced below R250 000)
• Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL Manual, and
• Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX Manual
Budget Hatch (priced between R250 000 and R350 000)
• Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX Manual
Entry-level crossover (R300 000 to R400 000)
• Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.5 GLX Manual
With its four nominations, Suzuki officially ranks as the most popular brand in the entry-level and budget segments of the competition.
“We keep a keen eye on the CarsAwards as this is the most comprehensive competition of its kind in South Africa,” says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa.
Carpenter explains that the CarsAwards judges consider every vehicle on sale in the market, not just new entries. It also applies stringent criteria to every model to ensure that only the best cars, offering the best specifications and value for money, are considered.
“And while the 20 judges will put every finalist through its paces during the final testing in November, their vote only counts for 50% of the final score. The rest is collected from owners who have purchased these vehicles and who live with them every day,” says Carpenter.
With such a heavy weight on customer feedback, it is very encouraging to see the past performance of Suzuki vehicles in the CarsAwards. Suzuki has the most winners in the entry-level and budget categories of this competition, and it has also twice won the prestigious CarsAwards Brand of the Year Award. It has been called to the podium in past years to collect trophies for the Celerio, Ignis and several times for the Swift.
“We always consider metrics such as the CarsAwards and our dealer sales performance when measuring our brand’s health. The former represents feedback from thousands of customers, and the latter measures how many people consider Suzuki when buying a vehicle with their own money,” says Carpenter.
To further clarify his point, Cars.co.za has partnered with Lightstone Auto to poll thousands of existing customers who own the vehicles nominated for awards and who have lived with them for as long as four years. This feedback weighs 50% of the total score, meaning a negative owner experience will automatically disqualify a vehicle from winning its category.
The second metric – dealer sales – is viewed as a leading indicator of brand health. Unlike some volume brands, which sell hundreds of vehicles in bulk deals to large companies or the government, more than eight out of ten Suzuki vehicles are bought by individuals who spend their hard-earned money.
Suzuki is a finalist in the naamsa Accelerator Awards. The sales performance of models like the Suzuki Swift has also prompted naamsa, the automotive industry business council, to nominate Suzuki and models like the Swift and Dzire for its annual Accelerator Awards. In picking its finalists, naamsa considers sales performance and customer feedback. An independent auditing firm evaluates this, and the outright best performer is awarded a prize.
For its 2023 Accelerator Awards, naamsa nominated the Suzuki Swift as one of three semi-finalists in the Passenger Car of the Year category. The Suzuki Dzire and Suzuki Baleno have both been set in the Biggest Achiever of the Year category, and the Suzuki Swift is a nominee in the Top Imported Vehicle of the Year category. Interestingly, all three vehicles nominated in this last category are manufactured by Suzuki. Lastly, naamsa has singled out the Suzuki Bassonia as one of the three best-performing passenger vehicle dealers.
The naamsa Accelerator Awards will be announced at a gala evening on 13 October 2023, while the final winners of the CarsAwards will be announced early in 2024.