Suzuki is off to an incredible start in South Africa 2024, as the automaker broke its monthly sales record with a new peak of 5,235 units in January.
This is the first time the Japanese manufacturer has broken past the 5,000-unit mark in a single month in the local market, marking the next step in an upward trend that the brand has been experiencing since it arrived here back in 2008.
A rising star
Since its launch in South Africa in 2008, Suzuki has gradually built up a solid market share to the point that it is now the third-largest brand in the country behind Toyota and Volkswagen.
In 2022, the automaker was declared the country’s biggest passenger-car brand, bearing in mind that a sizeable portion of Toyota and VW’s sales come from bakkies, which fall into the light commercial vehicle segment.
Backing up this claim are the company’s sales figures over the past seven years that illustrate just how much its popularity has grown with Mzansi motorists.
In 2017, the carmaker sold a total of 8,833 vehicles across the entire year, but this has jumped to a staggering 49,573 units for 2023 – an increase of over 460%.
“To put Suzuki Auto’s growth in perspective, we have been able to sell more cars in January this year than we sold in the first two years – 2008 and 2009 – in South Africa combined,” said Henno Havenga, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
Since 2017, the automaker has broken its monthly sales record 25 times, having first achieved 1,000 new purchases in one month in August 2017.
The next milestone came in October 2020 when it eclipsed 2,000 sales, which was followed by 3,000 in September 2021, and 4,000 in May 2022.
Over the course of 2023, the manufacturer had an average of 4,131 purchases every month, with the lion’s share of these going to the ever-popular Swift.
As a result, the wallet-friendly hatch ended up as the third-most-popular passenger car in the country after the VW Polo Vivo and Toyota Corolla Cross, with 15,974 units making their way off the showroom floor during the year,
This is not a trend that seems likely to change anytime soon, as the Swift found 1,566 new customers in January, putting it far ahead of Suzuki’s other top picks like the Baleno (625 units), Ertiga (657 units), Jimny (445 units) and S-Presso (434 units).