Suzuki Soars in the South African auto market

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Suzuki Soars in the South African auto market

Many South Africans are choosing Suzuki as their preferred vehicle brand. In November, the Japanese automaker achieved an impressive sales figure of 4,381 vehicles, marking a 2% increase compared to November 2022. This positive performance defied the overall trend in the automotive market, which saw a decline of 13.4% during the same month.

Notably, Suzuki's dealer network played a pivotal role in this success, as they managed to sell 3,947 units. This achievement set a new record in South Africa, surpassing the previous high of 3,857 sales achieved by Suzuki dealers just 30 days prior.

This success for Suzuki extends over four consecutive months, contrasting with the broader vehicle market's continued decline over the same period.

Henno Havenga, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa, explained the phenomenon: "People are feeling the pinch of rising food, fuel, and general living costs. Many are now turning to Suzuki to replace their ageing or expensive-to-maintain vehicles. This is why our dealer network has witnessed a substantial increase in sales, driven by individual buyers."

This trend is echoed by Naamsa, who notes that most South Africans are shifting away from expensive-to-buy or maintain vehicles due to low consumer confidence from the escalating cost of living.

While the overall market showed minimal growth at 0.5%, the passenger vehicle segment experienced a 4.4% decline compared to the same period in 2022. In contrast, Suzuki saw increased sales across all its popular models compared to the previous year.

In November, the Suzuki Swift found 1,117 new owners, closely followed by the Fronx with 547 sales, despite stock challenges. The Fronx, introduced in August, has rapidly become one of Suzuki's most sought-after models.

Other highly regarded models include the Suzuki Ertiga, which had an exceptional sales month with 520 units sold. On the commercial vehicle side, the Suzuki Eeco achieved 106 sales in November.

Havenga emphasised Suzuki's consistent growth in a market that has struggled to recover after the 2020 pandemic. He attributes this success to changing consumer habits, as customers increasingly opt for new cars from brands like Suzuki, offering better value for money and lower monthly fuel expenses.

To illustrate Suzuki's outstanding performance, Havenga highlighted July 2022, when the company achieved its highest-ever sales month, selling 4,622 vehicles. During that month, the entire industry only managed to sell 43,593 cars, compared to the similarly low 45,075 vehicles sold in November of the same year.

Looking ahead, Havenga anticipates another strong sales month in December, particularly with the launch of the Suzuki Jimny five-door range, which will have a whole month of sales.

He notes Suzuki's participation in the South African Car of the Year and Cars. Co. za Consumer Awards competitions show that affordability does not require compromising features or quality when choosing a Suzuki vehicle.



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