Suzuki Auto South Africa has surprised the market with a stellar sales performance in June, with sales figures returning to pre-lockdown levels and its dealer network breaking all existing records.
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa), Suzuki Auto SA has leapt up the sales charts by selling 1 433 units, with all but one unit sold through the dealer network. This not only ranks Suzuki 7th overall in the sales rankings but gives it a 4.49% share of the total vehicle market and a 7.17% share of the passenger vehicle market.
“All credit goes to our national dealer network, which worked very hard to reopen all their dealership floors, while meeting government and Suzuki standards for sanitation and safety. Their rapid action allowed us to meet the pent-up demand for good quality, affordable vehicles such as our new S-Presso and popular Swift,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
The S-Presso has proven to be a very popular new model, with a massive 555 new units finding new homes in June. This is the model’s first full month of sales after Suzuki cancelled its in-person launch and launched it digitally shortly before the start of South Africa’s national lockdown.
“With a starting price of only R139 900, a service plan and 5-year warranty included, the S-Presso seems to be the perfect vehicle for cash-strapped South Africans looking for a reliable new car. Its design as a compact SUV, with more interior space and high ground clearance, certainly helps,” says Venter.
Other Suzuki models that have proven popular after-sales restarted include the Suzuki Swift (297 units), the Ignis (86 units) and the Jimny 4×4 (249 units).
While the entire automotive market has not recovered in step with Suzuki, it is heartening to see a return of general sales activity. Naamsa reports that 31 867 vehicles were sold in June, which is significantly up from the 12 874 vehicles sold in May. It remains well below the 45 953 units sold in June last year and it is a full 105 054 vehicles fewer than in the first six months of 2019.
“It was impossible to predict the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown or to fully gauge its impact on dealer health, but based on June’s sales it looks like there is a glimmer of hope for the auto industry. We will support our dealers as they continue to trade under difficult circumstances and will fully support the industry, which remains a very significant investor and employer in South Africa,” says Venter.
Suzuki last year celebrated its first ten years in South Africa with a new all-time sales record for the year and the introduction of exciting new models such as the Swift and Swift Sport. This year, it hopes to maintain this momentum by moving into new corporate offices, with adjacent parts storage.
“With the growth in our car parc and dealer network, we have been forced to increase our support staff and available parts storage. We have already identified a new corporate head office and warehouse facility in Johannesburg and will move as soon as it is safe to do so,” says Venter.
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