JOHANNESBURG – Suzuki has been gaining ground in South Africa in recent years, and now it appears that launching the country’s cheapest car earlier this year is paying dividends.
Suzuki Auto South Africa said it sold more cars through its dealer network than ever before in September 2020, with a total sales volume of 1787 units making it the sixth most popular brand in the country.
There were two model ranges that made up the bulk of Suzuki’s sales: S-Presso and Swift.
The S-Presso narrowly beat its bigger sibling, with a total volume of 538 units, versus 533 in the case of the Swift.
The S-Presso was launched just before lockdown with a starting price of R134 900, making it the cheapest car in South Africa.
The weak rand has since pushed the price up to R139 900, but the S-Presso is still by far the most affordable car in the nation, given that the Mahindra KUV100 now starts at R151 999 and the Renault Kwid at R162 900.
The larger Swift, which starts at R171 900 with very basic specification, has been a strong seller since this generation was launched in 2018, often notching up around 500 units a month as it did in September.
Also in relatively strong demand, by niche vehicle standards at least, is the Suzuki Jimny, of which 100 units were sold last month.
While Suzuki is gaining ground with its small car line-up, which is more relevant than ever given the dire economic situation, the importer still has plenty of ground to gain if it wants to achieve similar volumes to Toyota and Volkswagen. Toyota, for instance, says it moved 809 examples of its outgoing Etios in September, while it is presumed that Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo dominated the budget car market overall.
Naamsa no longer releases individual vehicle sales figures for South Africa, however some car companies are releasing their figures through their own channels.